Gordon Hayward went for 29 points. Rudy Gobert went for 21 points and 15 boards and added a pair of blocks. The Warriors combined for a playoff-low 19 assists. Steph and Klay went a combined 7 of 29 from the floor and the Warriors shot just 39% from the floor as a team.
And they still won on the road in Utah by double-digits and covered the spread.
That, folks, is WHY they Dubs went out and signed Kevin Durant. That is why they were willing to risk chemistry and continuity from a team that had won a championship, made two straight NBA Finals and just capped off the winningest regular season in the history of the league. Because even when they play poorly – really poorly offensively, K.D. can BAIL THEM OUT. Just like he did last night. The margin for error for the Warriors team is so huge right now I still can’t see anyone challenging them until the Finals (even then, call me skeptical on Cleveland).
The cover gave us our third win in four games and we will be looking to cap off a nice weekend tonight with three games to choose from on a crowded Sunday slate of action.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards -4.5
I like Houston today at home to even the series, but I love Washington even more. What will they do without Kelly Oubre, Jr?!? Just kidding. Most of you probably didn’t even know who that guy was until he shoved Kelly Olynyk on his can after a tough, but pretty much clean, screen. Oubre Jr. provided some drama and a nice visual flashpoint for the true heat of this rivalry, but in truth, his absence means little today other than a near-certain technical coming for Markeef Morris’s inevitable message to the Canadian big man…
As far as the hoops itself, this series has been simple so far, and it doesn’t really belie the season’s larger sample size; the home team has a big edge. Both teams went 30-11 at home and both had huge ATS home record as well, ranking in the top five in the league in cover percentage at home. The Wizards finally recognized that, pride be darned, they were unable to cover Isaiah Thomas with a single defender. The began helping on him in Game Three and face guarding him wherever he went on the court. The quit cheating off him to help on other defenders and basically threw away most of their basic team defenses rules. It worked. Thomas had just 13 points and his teammates were unable to make enough shots to make Washington pay.
Expect a steady diet of the same tonight. And it will work. Oddly in the NBA, role players shoot much more poorly on the road. Game Five? The Wiz will need to adjust (or simply run enough to score enough points). But at home, tonight, in Game Four? Look for I.T. to score more than 13 but never dominate the game. I’ll eat the four and a half and take the Wizards to even the series today at home.
Today’s NBA Pick: Washington Wizards -4.5