I guess the Bucks aren’t forcing a Game Seven after all. I forewarned against getting all emotional and buying that the Bulls were in serious trouble, but I admit I didn’t foresee a game that would get to 82-38 en route to a stunning 54 point road win for Chicago. The highlight (or lowlight, I suppose, if you value sportsmanship) was the insane flying forearm shiver that Giannis Antetokounmpo threw into Mike Dunleavy – if you didn’t see it, it’s worth googling after you finish the column. One of the dirtiest plays I’ve seen in quite a while.
Meanwhile, The Clippers went into San Antonio and won a potential elimination game to force a Game Seven back at home. It was the fourth road game won in this absolutely thrilling series. I’ve stayed away from picks for this precise reason – it is a very even series and every single game has functioned individually with no discernible hint of “momentum” or any of the other things generally attributed to a seven game series between heavyweights. So it would seem that the Clippers would have the edge at home in Game Seven, but closing out the Champs?? Never easy.
Let’s see if we can notch another winner tonight to build on our 8-4 ATS start to the NBA Playoffs.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Atlanta Hawks -4 at Brooklyn Nets (Total: 200.5)
This is the only game on the schedule, so perhaps someone will actually WATCH the hawks and Nets tonight. Low blow, but the series more often shifted to NBAtv takes center stage tonight, and if you haven’t seen them play yet, it’s actually been a really interesting and competitive series. Derron Williams seems to be having a little late career renaissance after facing a ton of criticism all year, and from Paul Pierce’s scathing rant. He’s been the best point guard in the series and the Nets could very easily be leading this series.
But are we setting ourselves up for a Chicago Bulls-like romp by doubting the Hawks? They did have the best record in the East by a ton, and even with the injury to Sefalosha, they should be able to close out the generally lethargic Nets on the road.
Paul Milsap looks healthy, or least he did in Game Five, and that should be enough to get this series wrapped up and to get ready for the long-resting Wizards. As series wear deeper, there is generally an advantage to the team with the deeper and more productive bench. This is a big edge for the Hawks, though Jarrett Jack has been spectacular in this series. I think the bench crew of Atlanta will edge this game out in the second half and close out the series.