We got back on the winning NBA track last night, thanks in no small part to James Harden’s career-high 50 point outburst. I said I liked Harden to carry them to the win in cover, but I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting him to shoulder THAT much of the load.
Welcome back to the front of the MVP line Mister Harden. Wow.
It’s a lighter load in the NBA, perhaps because of the NCAA Tournament’s dominance of the nation’s attention. But just like last night, we will try to carve out a winner to help pad that bankroll for a huge weekend of hoops, as there are a few really good games on the schedule including Toronto vs. Chicago, Memphis vs. Dallas and Golden State at New Orleans who will look to keep the heat on OKC who hosts the Hawks in what might be the night’s most interesting matchup.
Let’s dive in and see if we can stack on another winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Atlanta Hawks -2 at Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder injury woes keep on mounting. Just when it seemed like Russell Westbrook could lift the team through the Kevin Durant injury and still sneak into the playoffs, down goes Serge Ibaka. It’s been one thing after another in OKC this season and as a result they still haven’t been able to shake the Pelicans and are in real danger of being the last entrant into the NBA Draft Lottery.
Meanwhile, things have been a little tepid for the Hawks as well. Sure, they have the first seed locked up and there isn’t a ton of motivation right now to lean through the regular season finish line, but in a ‘show-me’ game against the Warriors they failed to how much of the look of a true title contender. They also completely no-showed in a trip to Denver last week as well. Tonight, they head on the road in a game that means WAY more to the other team than it does to them, and Kyle Korver is expected to miss his third straight game tonight, throwing off the outside threat from the balance they so heavily rely upon.
Steven Adams and Enes Kanter will have their work cut out for them, but the self-titled “Bruise Brothers” should be up to the task tonight. I see them having way more energy tonight at home than the visiting Hawks, who haven’t shown an indication they aren’t going to play all their guys tonight, but still have the potential at any moment to grab some rest for a starter or two along with Korver.
I’m not betting Hawks on the road the rest of the regular season unless there is a real compelling reason to think they are bringing 100%. I’ll take the Thunder to get a direly-needed home win tonight.