We split our NBA picks thanks to another offensive explosion in Houston (win) and a listless effort from the Miami Heat against Charlotte and a hobbling Al Jefferson (loss). I’m not stunned Miami did just enough to win, but I thought they’d put away the young Bobcats when they got a 15 point lead early and saw Al Jefferson limping to the locker room.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks absolutely hammered the top-seeded Spurs to even their series an ensure that seven of the eight series; all but the defending champion Heat, will head to the Game Three with the visiting team now in possession of home court advantage. So does this mean we are in for an unprecedented number of “upsets”? Are we reaching March Madness level madness in the NBA??
Let’s not get too carried away just yet. I’ll concede that the two #5 seeds should win their series after a pair of opening road wins, if you’ll concede that a #5 over a #4 isn’t a huge upset. So let’s take a look at the other five series. Does anyone really think it is beyond possible that the Thunder, Clippers, Spurs, and Pacers can go on the road and win one of two against a lesser opponent and re-take home court advantage?
I’d still be surprised if any of the four aforementioned teams lose their series, but they certainly have made the television must more must-see…
Today’s Free Picks:
Indiana Pacers -2 at Atlanta Hawks (Total: 186.5)
Maybe I’m getting suckered in here, but I really think Indiana wins this game and ends up taking firm control of this series. It’s based as much on a disbelief in Atlanta as it is the over-rated hype over a practice skirmish between Evan Turner and Lance Stevenson. Jordan punched multiple teammates in the face. It’s not that big a deal.
Anyhow, I do like Indy, but I like the UNDER even more. Expect the defenses to tighten their belts a little tighter tonight, especially Indiana. And for the Hawks, the Pacers aren’t a particularly gifted offensive team anyhow. I like this game to be in the low 90’s to high 80’s range, and will bank on it tucking safely under the total.
Los Angeles Clippers -1.5 at Golden State Warriors (Total: 213.5)
The Clippers aren’t 40 points better than the Warriors. But they aren’t the team that we saw in Game One’s ridiculous foul-fest either. The truth is, this series is somewhere in the middle. We’ve seen the frenzy that the Bay Area can muster for playoff series, and I expect nothing less tonight. I’m not sure it’s enough to get it done however. I lean Clippers tonight on the road, but I feel more confident in yet another game going OVER the total.
We won easily in Game Two on the OVER, and while we might sweat it a little more tonight, I see no reason both this teams don’t easily eclipse the 100 point mark. I like the winner to be in the 110’s, which SHOULD be enough to get us over the threshold.