Clippers vs. Hawks Pick NBA – January 27th

It was back and forth until the end last night, but a late bucket sealed a narrow cover with the Brooklyn Nets over the Miami Heat. The Heat did enough to win on the back-end of a road back to back, a positive accomplishment regardless of how fatigued the veteran Heat may have been, and I suppose your feeling today depends upon where you caught the line. It bounced from 4.5 to 3.5 throughout the day, so you might have won, pushed or lost.

Hopefully you were a winner. Either way, it’s five of six on the NBA hardwood, so let’s see if we can keep it going all through the week. There are a handful of good games on the schedule; including the Clippers trying to win back to back road games amidst news of Blake Griffin’s extended stint on the injured list – this time breaking his hand punching a team staff member. If you hadn’t heard that story and just went, “Huh??!?” that is an appropriate reaction. What in the bloody hell is going on in Clipper land, and while I agree sports is a different industry, just imagine what would happen if one of your coworkers had his face smashed by a 6’11’, 240+ pound coworker while in the office…

Alas, let’s get back to the more important task of stringing together some winners. As well as remembering NOT to insult Mr. Griffin (this column is just in jest, should we ever meet face to face…)

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Clipper at Atlanta Hawks -4

Blake Griffin circus aside, winning road games on consecutive nights is a tough task in the NBA. And that is what the Clippers will be attempting to do less than 20 hours removed from their two point win in Indianapolis. To make things even tougher, they will have a tough matchup taking on the Atlanta Hawks who check in at 15-7 at home straight up on the season and who have an extra rest day advantage over the Clippers. Atlanta went 2-2 on a west coast road trip and will be happy to return home after more than a week away.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have been excellent without Griffin, which is good considering they will be without him for another month-plus (potential suspension and penalties aside). However, against top-tier competition, they have been just OK. They’ve lost games to Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, Sacramento and San Antonio. They have wins over Indiana, Houston and Miami.

It’s fair to say the Hawks are kind of in both categories, depending upon one’s perspective. I’d put them obviously shy of Cleveland and San Antonio, and ahead of Indiana and Houston. But the point remains, they are no worse than a top-ten team. Add in the fact they are laying a pretty slim margin at home against a West Coast team on the back end of a back to back, and the scales tip heavily in their favor for covering tonight.

Free Pick: Atlanta Hawks -4