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Clippers vs. Jazz Game Four Pick – April 23rd

Things are starting to get really interesting in the NBA Playoffs.  Sure, the favorites are advancing with nary an issue with Cleveland and Golden State leading their respective series 3-0 (albeit Cleveland’s requiring some in-game drama each time) but aside from the prohibitive favorites, every other series is still very much in flux.  Memphis improbably tied their series with the Spurs at two games apiece, and Toronto did likewise, winning in Milwaukee just two days after one of the worst offensive performances in recent playoff history.

Today, two more teams can create similar chaos.  Boston can even their series with another gutty win in Chicago and get right back “on serve” and in good shape to advance after a disastrous 0-2 hole, and Oklahoma City can even their series with Houston with a home win this afternoon (3:30pm on ABC).  The nightcap is interesting as well as Utah tries to rebound after dropping a crushing Game Three at home to fall back behind in a series which started off promisingly with a win at Staples.

It’s a loaded slate of NBA action today – four games in succession.  So scrap all other plans and get to a television!

Today’s NBA Pick:

Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz -2.5

Oh how the tables have turned once again…  Utah took a commanding lead to start the series, winning in Staples but losing Rudy Gobert in the process.  The Clippers responded by taking Game Two and then reclaiming home court advantage with a win in Utah in Game Three.  But alas, their win came at a price as well, as Blake Griffin (stop me if this sounds familiar) was injured in the process.  How long Blake is out is yet to be determined, but for the here and now; tonight – he will not be in uniform, leaving the Clippers very shorthanded offensively.

Gobert has been downgraded to “doubtful” for tonight’s vital Game Four, but the absence of Griffin more than mitigates the damage.  I’ll take the Jazz with the homecourt advantage over the Blake-less Clippers, and frankly and REALLY surprised this line is just -2.5.   I would have gone as far as -5 with Griffin sidelined – and just given the Clippers good game/bad game general playoff nature.

This should be a good game – Chris Paul is still there, so the Clippers have a chance, but I think the Jazz will just be too much defensively as the Clippers are missing their biggest offensive weapon and only post scoring presence.

Today’s Pick:  UTAH JAZZ -2.5

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