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Clippers vs. Thunder Pick NBA – March 31st

It took an extra five minutes but history is still free to proceed as planned.

The Golden State Warriors needed to go to overtime to knock off the sneaky-tough Jazz in overtime, but were able to pull away late and notch their 68th win of the season, now needing to go just 5-2 over their last seven games to eclipse the Bulls as the best team in regular season NBA history.  The get a night off tonight before hosting Boston Friday night (on ESPN).  If you are a lover of hoops history, you are in luck, as I believe every single remaining Dubs game is on national television (if you have NBAtv).

Meanwhile, the Lakers rebounded from the worst loss in franchise history and their Swaggy/Iggy/Party Next Door drama and BEAT the Miami Heat, who actually have a lot to play for as they jockey for playoff positioning – so quite possibly the worst loss of the year.  Really weird stuff.

Oh, and best of luck to Swaggy and Iggy, but I wouldn’t buy any non-refundable wedding presents just yet…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder -16

I waited a bit to hit POST on this pick, because of the wild line fluctuation.  It opened at -8.5 and has now ballooned to -15.5 or -16 after Doc Rivers announced that the Clippers would be granting some much needed rest to Chris Paul, JJ Redick and DeAndre Jordan instead of rolling them out for their fourth game in five nights.  As of now, OKC isn’t rumoured or confirmed to be doing likewise, but it only stands to reason Durant and Westbrook won’t be getting a full burn tonight either.

At this point, using any previous metrics and numbers seems a bit foolish.  Any past performances between these two teams feels a little irrelevant and recent trends seem a little useless as well.

It now comes down to: even with a depleted roster, is 15.5 points still a bit generous?  It feels like a LOT to lay in this case.  I don’t see OKC coming up on fire and looking to step on the B-Team’s throat tonight.  I expect Durant and Westbrook to get them Thunder a lead in the first half and spend a lot of time resting.  I also expect some of the Clippers reserves to really enjoy getting some shots up tonight.  They have a bench full of dudes who are used to scoring more in the past than they have this season.  Look for them to ramp it up tonight and come out gunning.  Look for Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and Wesley Johnson to have a blast tonight.  They won’t win unless the Thunder decide to trot out the B-Team as well.  But I think they can keep it close.

I feel bad for TNT, but I’ll still tune in with my 16 points in my hip pocket.

Free Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +16