The Cavaliers got rolled again, on back to back nights, by the two foremost contenders to the assumed Cavs/Bulls Conference Finals. We enjoyed the win, as it notched us an easy NBA winner, but suffice it to say it was less enjoyable for the Cleveland fans and The King. By virtue of the Eastern Conference residency, there is little reason to panic. If they were in the West, they’d be in 12th position and 2 ½ games out of the playoff picture. But larger than playoff seeding, there is some growing concern that perhaps this chemistry experiment might take a little longer than expected. This is a bad defensive team who still gets a lot of its offense in the “your turn – my turn” fashion that the Year One Heat struggled with. We know that turned out pretty well in the end, but I’m not sure that Love/Irving, despite their youth, will evolve into the defenders that Wade and Bosh were…
It will be fun and interesting to watch the story in Cleveland continue to be authored game by game.
Oh, and Anthony Davis went for 43 and 14 in a road win over Utah. That’s a non-sequitur, but it has to make the column. 43 and 14. MVP, MVP???
It’s a limited Sunday slate of NBA action, but I have a game on my radar that jumps off. Let’s dive in and see if we can string a few winners together.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies -3 (Total: 197)
Bet against the Grizz at your own peril (as I learned earlier this week). I figured having half of your team literally hospitalized with a stomach flu should be enough to slow down the defense to at least allow a team to cover in the Grind House. I was wrong.
The Grizz are perfect at home, and they are physically punishing teams in the process. Tonight they get a visit from the road-hot Clippers and their physical brilliance (though I am not sure they constitute a “physical” team – more on that in a moment”) but, the Clippers last two romping road wins were over Miami and Orlando. Tonight is a slightly different animal.
The Grizzlies have won 21 straight games at home, and are only laying three points tonight. It’s too slim to go against them tonight. The last time these teams faced off, the Grizz won IN Los Angeles, and they did it with their interior physical superiority. They outscored the Clipps 60-32 in the paint and both Randolph and Gasol had big games. I expect them to be exceptionally physical with Blake Griffin tonight and to have big games on the interior. That should be enough to notch win #22.