There’s lots of news from the NBA playoffs; the Spurs and Cavs capped off sweeps, the Spurs with ease and the Cavs in a tougher-than-expected sweep with a bunch of closely fought games. The Celtics won a thrilling overtime battle to even the series at 2-2, even without the services of Avery Bradley. And the Hornets and Blazers each have home games tonight to try and knot another pair of series at two games apiece.
But there is only ONE story in the NBA today; Steph Curry and his upcoming MRI on his knee. Because the fate of the universe hinges upon the results, or at least the potential fate of the basketball universe. For the sake of history, intrigue, and quality play, I think everyone is HOPING all is fine. There would be something pretty unsatisfying about the Warriors being dethroned without their two-time MVP. Even ardent Cavaliers and Spurs fans who would relish the improved path to the title, would have to admit, there would be a lingering specter over the trophy – a “yeah but” that doesn’t take away the ring on the finger, but always colors the memory and discussion.
We will find out more today, and obviously it affects everything from a future wagering perspective. As a matter of fact, the uncertainty is so massive, that you can’t even PLACE a future wager right now at Bovada – and I imagine most Vegas casinos will adopt a similar “let’s wait and see” attitude this morning.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets -2.5
Could this series really be as simple as just letting the home team run wild? Through three games, the favorite has won and covered with EASE in every game, with the home team winning by an average margin of 20.7 per game and by at least 18 in every single matchup. I think Charlotte continues the trend tonight – not by the same margin, but with the same eventual result; a W.
This was an evenly matched series heading in, even though the results certainly called that into question after a pair of drubbings delivered by the Heat in Miami. These two teams have identical records, played each other competitively prior to this series, and have nearly identical metrics in terms of efficiency, shooting percentage, true shooting – everything. It should be an even series.
The Hornets got monster efforts from Jeremy Lin and Frank Kaminsky – the latter at the alleged urging of Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing. That’s a strange sentence right? MJ and Ewing telling their coach that the key to success is getting the ball to Frank the Tank, who averaged 7.5 points in 21 minutes this regular season. But such is life in the NBA Playoffs, where adjustments and matchups are the key to success. Especially without Nicolas Batum, their second leading scorer, who is listed as doubtful again tonight.
Miami is the chic pick to win this series along with the next, but I think that pick is rooted a bit in “want” and “nostalgia.” The collective sports world WANTS to see LeBron play his old mates. The NBA fan base still sees Dwayne Wade as a Top Five superstar, and while he certainly CAN ramp it up at times, it isn’t fair to expect him to be THAT guy; the 2006 Finals MVP, for an entire month.
Look for the home court edge to continue to reign supreme this series and for the Hornets to know things up at 2-2