Three of the NBA’s Final Four are set and the final member will be set this afternoon beginning at 3:30 EST. Frankly, it is amazing there is even a game today after the Clippers had this series OVER – up twenty in the second half at home against a team that had shown little fight this postseason. Instead the Rockets pull off an improbably 40-15 fourth quarter, all with MVP runner-up (and some say pouting because of it) parked on the bench with neither an injury nor foul trouble; Coach McHale simply liked the mojo of his second unit… wisely.
So can the Clippers pick themselves up off the mat and recover from one of the most epic collapses in recent NBA Playoff history? Or can the Rockets cap off an equally staggering comeback today at home? It’s going to be one for the ages – perhaps the second chapter in this ridiculous Clippers postseason, and I can’t wait to watch it. So let’s see if we can make a little coin at the same time.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Clippers -2.5 at Houston Rockets (Total: 220)
Is it impossible to recover from as devastating loss at the Clippers took Thursday night? Well, Vegas thinks it is. The Clippers are still 2.5 point favorites, despite their epic fail Thursday and having lost two straight games to the Rockets AND being on the road. That tells me two things; one, the Clippers are still the better and more talented team. Two, momentum matters more to us; the fans and observers, than it does to the players. They’ve had two days to recoup and regroup, and today is a brand new game. We’ve already seen the Clipps and Chris Paul respond amazingly well under the Game Seven pressure lights against the Spurs. I think he delivers an epic performance again today.
Houston found some magic in reserves Josh Smith and Corey Brewer in Game Six. But with your money on the line, would you rather bank on J-Smoove or Chris Paul/Blake Griffin? Me too. The Clippers have been the better team for the majority of this series. Houston shot 67% from behind the arc in second half. The Clippers shot 23% for the game. We are ripe for a little regression to the mean today, so I will stick with the Clippers.
Maybe I’m foolish. Maybe I’m stubborn in early analysis paralysis. But I STILL think the Clippers are the better team and I think they have a lot more gamers on their roster, led my Chris Paul, than the Rockets do. I’ll take Paul and Blake over Harden and Howard in a tight spot. I’ll take Reddick knocking down more shots than Josh Smith. And I’ll take Doc Rivers over the super-cool and underrated Kevin McHale. The Clippers tried to give this series away, but they take it back in dramatic fashion today.