What on earth happened last night at the Staples Center??? If you are on East Coast time, you are forgiven if you cut the lights and went to bed secure in the knowledge the Clipps had advanced to their first Western Conference Finals in franchise history. After all, they were up twenty at home in the late third quarter against a team who had shown ZERO heart to this point in the series.
So of course, they go on an epic run for the ages, and not only come back but end up blowing out the Clippers to force a Game Seven back on their home court. Insanity.
Can the Clippers get off the mat and recover to grab a rare Game Seven road win? It seems impossible four days ago to think the Rockets could win this series. Now it is going to require something only 20% of team accomplish; winning a Game Seven on the road, in order for the Clippers to advance. Again. Insanity.
You could make a similar claim about the opening game last night (a loser for me). If you had Matthew Delavedova leading the team in scoring in a twenty-plus point road blowout win, then congrats. I did not. Now let the carnage begin in Chicago as roster and staff moves seem inevitable…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards -2.5
A pair of road teams won last night; one to close out a series and the other to survive. So is home court advantage dead in the NBA Playoffs? This series has also been fairly fickle with teams splitting on each other’s floor and the pivotal Game Five coming down to a pair of dueling buzzer beaters. This series has been competitive, even if it hasn’ quite captured the public’s attention like some of the other matchups. I’d expect another good game tonight.
But I’d also expect the Wizards to win at home. They matchup well with Atlanta, and have been the slightly better team for most of the series, especially when Wall has been in the lineup. I expect Wall and Beal to cut down on their turnovers tonight and to deliver a more efficient performance. They’ll need Nene to rebound a little better (please block out Al Horford) but I think he and Marcin Gortat will both play well tonight.
Paul Pierce was a bit premature in calling “series” on Wednesday night, but he may just get another chance this weekend. I think this one is going seven after the Wizards defend their home turn tonight.