We have a pretty packed NBA schedule tonight, highlighted by the Champs facing a tricky spot, playing their third game in four nights – all on the road and this one three time zones east. It’s a near-certain losing formula for mere mortals, but Golden State has proven more than that in more than a few spots this season. Vegas still likes them, installing them as a six point favorite, and I can’t say I’m willing to stake a pick on arguing.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers sent a nice message yesterday with their trouncing of Oklahoma City in OKC’s home gym. I am not sure it fully erases what Golden State did to them a few weeks prior, but it is looking more and more like Cleveland will waltz into the finals with a much easier path than whomever they meet, Warriors or otherwise. The most interesting stat I saw during the game was that Kevin Love is getting 1.9 more touches per game at the elbow under Tyron Lue than he was with Coach Blatt. He is responding with improved production and seemingly more involvement overall. If that trend continues, it makes the Cavs much, much tougher to defend and takes some of the onus off LeBron to have to do EVERYTHING like he did last June.
Let’s see if we can start a new week with a new winning streak.
Oh, and Anthony Davis went for 59 POINTS and 20 REBOUNDS last night. In an NBA game – not on Xbox One – in REAL LIFE….
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Today’s Free Pick:
Boston Celtics -4.5 at Minnesota Timberwolves
The C’s are one of the hottest teams in the NBA and have surged all the way to third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves, despite all their youthful promise, are still miserable, with the fifth worst record in the NBA and careening to yet another year in the Lottery. Kevin Garnett ain’t walking through that door – well, actually, he does every night, but not THAT Kevin Garnett who once led them to a conference finals appearance, instead it is old semi-retired mentor KG who seems to be helping Towns, but not really adding any wins.
Boston has won seven of ten and is 11 of 14 in their last 14 games overall. Meanwhile, Minny is 3-7, which is actually a little better than their overall season pace, and is a stunningly bad 9-19-2 ATS at home on the season. They aren’t nearly as competitive as a casual fan might think, especially after their relatively promising start to the season. They are playing basically .200 basketball since the middle of the second month of the season, and while it is nice to see the young core start to blossom late, it is even nicer to see them compete and still lose – a top three draft pick this year could be the final piece towards finally becoming competitive again.
It’s been a while since the Wolves beat anyone of note, and I don’t think they get a big win tonight either. Look for Boston to handle their business and shoot Minnesota out of the Target Center.