Blake Griffin is finally healthy! So now Blake Griffin can finally begin serving his four-game suspension for the whole “breaking his hand forcibly on the trainer’s face” thing. It is still good news for the Clippers who at least will have a handful of games to work Blake back into the rotation and get everyone acclimated to playing together as well as getting him back into game shape.
And truth be told, they have some fortuitous seeding right now working for them as well. They shouldn’t have a real difficult time with the MASH unit that is the Memphis Grizzlies, so that gives them a few more games to try and get everything in order before a long-anticipated (though somewhat diminished given each team’s current fortunes) series against the hated Golden State Warriors. The series isn’t as intriguing as it would have been last season had not the fourth quarter from hell happened against the Rockets, but it will still be as intense as semifinal rounds get nonetheless.
We are coming down the stretch, so it is going to be important to keep an eye on the “who’s in/out” news throughout the day as teams are likely to start playing the rest game, like the Spurs in their 111-92 loss with the B-team Saturday night against Oklahoma City.
Let’s dive in to today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers -3.5 (TOTAL: 208)
This one has some interesting opposing trends going for it tonight; the Celtics are just 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. Meanwhile, the Clippers are a pretty lousy 1-4 ATS in their last five games. So it is easy to justify fading either team. Add in the fact that Boston is out on the West coast for the second of five straight road games and the fact they have lost four of their last five to the Clippers doesn’t bode well.
But looking at the Clippers recent returns are not impressive either. LAC has gone 1-4 ATS in their last five home games and are just 6-4 SU in their last ten. Griffin is cleared to play but suspended, and their offense especially needs him back PRONTO. They have gone UNDER in 10 of their last 11 games – which is a big reason why this line tonight is irrationally low on the total.
The last time these two teams played each other the result was a wacky 139-134 overtime thriller won by the Celtics. The game before that was a 225 total point road win by the Clippers. I am really surprised this total is just 208 tonight. Yes, the Clippers have gone UNDER the total a ton recently, but the tempo tonight will make it really tough for either team to finish in double digits total scoring. Expect shots to fly tonight and for both teams to light up the scoreboard. Sure, the last game went to overtime, but it was 71-64 in the FIRST HALF – which would have EASILY pushed the total well over in in regulation.
I’m taking the OVER tonight and plan on watching some late night offensive fireworks out in LA.