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Celtics vs. Bulls Game Three Pick – April 21st

Anyone else have the Pacers game written down in the “win column” midway through the third quarter??  The Cavs made their run, the Pacers steeled their resolve and built the lead back up to 20 points.  Easy win, easy cover, count the money, let’s go home.

And perhaps that is exactly what the Pacers did… They finished the third quarter on the wrong side of a 14-0 run and never looked comfortable or confident the rest of the game.  Of course, the Cavs stormed all the way back, winning the game 109-104 and taking our easy winner into a loss that didn’t even cover the three (or 2.5) point spread.  Bad loss.  And perhaps the one that secured the need for a UHaul Truck for Paul George…

Elsewhere, holy smokes did you see the BEATDOWN the Bucks laid on the Raptors last night??  If you missed it, it is because the NBA is hiding the game on the channel annually reserved for Raptors First Round Playoff games, NBAtv, which for those of us cord-cutters, is difficult to procure.  Let’s sum it up by saying the score, as lopsided as 104-78 looks, doesn’t do it justice.  The Raptors had FORTY SIX POINTS at the end of the third quarter.  FORTY SIX!!  Lowry and DeRozan shot a combined 4 of 18 and DeRozan did not make a shot from the floor.  It is really hard to see Toronto surviving this series barring an insane change of character in Game Four.

Tonight’s games feature two teams on the ropes, but in different situations.  Boston is down 0-2 and heading TO Chicago, where Rajon Rondo won’t be awaiting them after breaking his thumb.  Forget game lines, what would the odds have been on writing “the Bulls will have to win without Rondo” at any point this season???

Today’s NBA Pick:

Boston Celtics -2 at Chicago Bulls

I’m not in love with Boston and always thought this was one of the softest #1 seeds in the post-Jordan NBA era.  But I am also not ready to crown the Bulls after two impressive outings, because we have SEEN this act before, my friends.  We played “good Bulls, bad Bulls” all season long and I am not confident the roller coaster has stopped.  And, as insane as it sounds, they really might miss Rajon Rondo tonight.  The veteran point guard was spectacular in Game Two and some of his passes (especially that outlet length-of-the-floor dime to Butler) were sensational.

Plus, the Celtics have had some time away, some time to grieve, decompress, refocus and get “right.”  They might be a soft #1 seed, but they ARE the #1 seed and the Bulls are the #8 for a reason.  I like Boston to make some shots tonight and to have more of their trademark defensive spirit tonight.  Look for Isaiah Thomas to be big and for the C’s to get some contributions from their interior, which should have been an advantage in this series but hasn’t yet to this point.

If Boston can JUST steal one tonight, I think we are in store for a good, long series.  I think they find a way to do it.  The C’s are road favorites tonight.  Vegas is TELLING us all not to get swept up in the narrative and overreact.  Boston is still the better team.  And tonight, I think they prove it.

Today’s NBA Pick:  BOSTON CELTICS -2

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