Never a good situation when you have the Pelicans and Anthony Davis leaves the game early with a wrist injury… alas, an L is an L, and I’ll wear it after a disappointing night of NBA picks. The Pels might have lost, but in the grand scheme of the 2017 NBA season, it matters very little. The bigger story was elsewhere in the West…
The Golden State Warriors have now officially entered “be concerned” territory after a jaw-dropping fourth quarter meltdown in a home loss to the Boston Celtics (who were playing their fourth straight game out West in just six days). The Celtics outscored the Dubs 27-12 in the fourth frame to not only cover, but win STRAIGHT UP in the Bay. It is completely fair to now wonder if they can hold off the Spurs for the top spot in the East and if the “Warriors v. Cavs III” we have all be reflexively anticipating is actually going to occur.
Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long with baited breath – the two square off for the first time this season Saturday night on ABC.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies -3
This one starts in a simple place for me; the Grizzlies are at home and rested, the Clippers are playing the second leg of a road back-to-back, fresh on the heels of a 107-91 roasting in Minnesota.
Neither team has good momentum entering this game. The Grizz are 3-5 in their last eight games and just lost to BROOKLYN. Embarassing. The Clippers got housed last night in Minnesota (less embarrassing, but still not awesome) and are just 3-5 in their last eight games as well. The difference tonight is the rest factor. The Grizz have been off since the 6th, two full days to recover and stew in some anger about their slide. The Clippers got smoked last night, got on a plane, and now they have to play a tough road game against a similarly-talented team less than 20 hours later. That’s a tough turn, and it rarely goes well in the NBA for teams in such a rest disadvantage. Teams are doing better this year, statistically, on back-to-backs, but when the rest edge is more than two days, the numbers slide back to miserable.
Neither of these teams are as bad as they’ve looked the last three weeks. Some of it just the March lull that we see as the NBA floats in the purgatory between the All-Star Game and the playoff push. I expect both to level off a bit and be tough first round opponents in five weeks.
For now, I’ll take the home team and the fresher team with a pretty reasonable line. The Clippers have been about a .500 team on the road this season, and Memphis is historically a pretty tough place to win.
Today’s Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -3