We notched an NBA underdog straight-up winner last night as Giannis, Jabari and the Bucks handled their business at home last night and held off the Miami Heat for the win. It wasn’t really much of an “upset” as the Bucks have won more than 60% of their home games and the Heat have a losing record on the road, but it is a winner with room to spare nonetheless. Let’s see if we can keep it rolling on a relatively quiet Thursday night in the NBA.
There are only four games on the schedule, and that is only if you count the Suns at the Nuggets as viable NBA basketball – and given the way the Suns have failed to even compete, it is hard to count. But the other three games provide at least some interest. Atlanta tries to stay hot at Toronto, in what could be considered a bit of jockeying for the role of hopeful Cavs opponent (though Boston and Miami fancy themselves in that convo as well). The Cavs go to Los Angeles to meet the Lakers, which seems like a gimme, but given that the Cavs played last night and that the Warriors fell into this trap last weekend, could anther LA miracle be brewing?
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers -10.5 at Los Angeles Lakers
Look, the Lakers stink. We all know it. Last week’s Warriors upset was a total fluke. But I can’t ignore how well tonight sets up for them to spring a similar trap. It is LeBron’s chance to say farewell to Kobe, but I am much more concerned about the Cavs tired legs after a high-scoring and high-energy fight against Sacramento last night.
Besides, very quietly the Lakers have been competent lately. They have won three of their last four home games and three of five overall. They beat Golden State, obviously, but also notched wins over Orlando and Brooklyn to go with competitive losses in their trips to San Antonio and Cleveland. It is the dog days of the NBA and the best teams are known to sleepwalk on an occasional trip to a Lottery-Bound opponent in March.
I think the Cavs are just sleepy and sluggish enough to keep this game far closer than it has any business being. Say what you will about the Lakers, but this young team is still competing. You get the feeling that Clarkson, Randle and Russell aren’t content to just bid Kobe farewell – they are sensing it is closer and closer to THEIR time, and they are playing with the requisite energy.
Look for the Lakers to compete. I don’t think they win, but I’ll take it being a ballgame.