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Hawks vs. Warriors Pick NBA – March 1st

I took the loss last night with Boston failing to cover by a half-point in their 100-95 win over the Jazz. But there is a good chance you had a better night. Shortly after posting the line closed to 4.5, which was its eventual end destination in most online books, so quite possible, YOU won. (Bitchy grumbling deleted).

So, congrats? Anyhow – let’s get back to the more important business of the NBA. The Cavaliers at least temporarily pumped the brakes on the “sky is falling” rhetoric with their late win over the Pacers. After a pair of less-than-impressive losses the media flocked to Kyrie Irving, the latest player who “wants out and is unhappy” (usually it is Kevin Love who gets those questions). I’m obviously being sarcastic, but is it possible that Cleveland just isn’t THAT good? I mean, they are a good basketball team, but if you’ve been watching the NBA this season it is obvious they are light years away from Golden State and far behind San Antonio and probably Oklahoma City. They aren’t “unhappy” or “looking to get out.” They just aren’t the best team in the NBA…

Let’s see if we can shake off last night’s tough beat (or narrow win – for you…) with an easy Tuesday winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors -9.5

The whole sports world is STILL buzzing from Steph Curry’s jaw-dropping show on Saturday night and asking what he can do for an encore. The simple answer is: nothing. Nothing tonight or the rest of this season is going to trump Saturday night. The way the legend continues is to keep doing it over and over and over.

Unlike normal teams, the Warriors seem energized rather than burdened by that very realization. They are going to have to keep doing this over and over and over, and sooner or later, the world will be forced to capitulate to their greatness. I think they keep it rolling tonight. They already beat Atlanta by double digits on the road and tonight they return home, fresh from two nights of rest and energized after an impressive 6-1 road trip (they became just the second NBA team EVER to post six wins on two separate road trips in the same season).

Meanwhile, Atlanta just isn’t the same this season. I waited a few months for the switch to flip, but it appears that they have simply regressed to the mean of their talent level after last season’s surprising run at the top seed in the East. They have a losing 14-15 record on the road, so expecting them to win at Golden State feels foolish. I think they’ll struggle to even keep it close.

Golden State has lost at home. In a different year long, long ago. This season, they are flawless. Add in the relief and excitement of returning home, and I think tonight is a Steph/Klay/Draymond resting in the fourth quarter kind of win. I’ll swallow the 9.5 gladly and roll with a team that has steamrolled teams at home all season long.

QUICK NOTE:  By all sources so far, the Warriors are planning on playing Steph.  IF he is ruled out with a sprained ankle that hasn’t quite recovered yet – look at this game a little differently!

Free Pick: Golden State Warriors -9.5