We notched a winner last night with the Detroit Pistons winning straight up sa home underdogs against Oklahoma City. The Pistons celebrated the win, and perhaps a little too much for the liking of the Thunder in the case of ex-teammate Reggie Jackson (whom I thought would have a big spirited effort and did, though perhaps in antics only, as he shot just 4 of 15 from the floor for 13 points). Russell Westbrook referred to his ex-mate’s behavior as “some bulls**t” and Steven Adams, he of the disturbing henchman mustache, said he’d “file it up here for next time” indicating he would remember Reggie’s gloating and quite likely exact his pound of flesh in return.
It made for a fun postgame, but, selfishly, the most fun is in stacking up a winning wager.
In other news, the Warriors did what they do; win at home, and it looks like barring a collapse, we will have a new “greatest team in NBA history” – unless they lose to San Antonio (or OKC, or even LAC, or Cleveland) in the playoffs.
Let’s see if we can notch another W tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors -2
The Raptors will quite likely be resting point guard Kyle Lowry this evening after some inflammation in his elbow after Monday night’s game. He could probably go according to most sources, but it’d be surprising if the Raptors messed with it given their relatively secure #2 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Even if he sits, the Raptors are 29-8 at home and have plenty of other talent on the roster. It shrinks the line, but the Raptors are still home favorites, probably because the Hawks are playing their third straight road game.
But should they be favored? Atlanta is streaking having won nine of ten overall. They are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games and now they are getting points against a Toronto team without Lowry and Carroll? The Hawks have won seven of eight straight up on the road and are a sparkling 8-2 ATS in their last ten road games.
Meanwhile, Toronto is 1-4 ATS in their last five games and just 3-6 ATS in their last nine games at home. Add that slide into their injury concerns, and it adds up to a nice opportunity for the Hawks to steal a road win. Keep in mind, Atlanta is still locking up their playoff spot. They are currently third but certainly want to stay in the top four, preferably at #3 to avoid Cleveland. A win tonight would be a big step towards securing that position.
Toronto is dazzling at home, but they are facing a hot team and they are facing them likely shorthanded. IF Lowry is announced as definitely playing, I couch my pick a little saying I want more than a point and a half, but without him, it feels like a generous line to get Atlanta AND points.