We took a loss last night as it appears the Memphis Grizzlies have finally run out of bodies, falling 107-100 at the Los Angeles Lakers. The complete decimation thanks to injury creates an interesting situation as teams jockey for playoff position. It isn’t that any of the top four teams FEAR any of the next four playoff entrants; in fact, I would think they would all be borderline dismissive. But it does create an interesting dynamic should Houston creep into the sixth spot and hold on. If you are the Thunder, would you rather have the Rockets and Spurs, or would you rather be fourth and have the Grizz (free pass) and then Golden State?
Neither second round opponent is pleasant, but I think I’d almost rather be fourth if I am Oklahoma City.
Of course, with the Clippers also imploding, it may be a moot point, but still something interesting to consider.
The NBA has a nice slate of action tonight, highlighted by the Raptors at Boston, Miami visiting San Antonio and the Jazz and Rockets in a Western Conference Playoff battle. Let’s see if we can carve out a winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs -12
No, this isn’t going to become a new full-time strategy, fading the Spurs. But it is reasonable to consider going against Coach Pop’s crew for a second time this week given the HUGE laydown necessary to back them against the Heat.
Let’s face it, there is very little for San Antonio to play for the next few weeks. The first seed is basically out of reach. OKC ain’t catching them for second. So they are basically just buying time until the “real season” starts in four weeks. So what is the motivation to absolutely manhandle a decent Miami team tonight?
San Antonio is just 3-7 ATS in their last ten games and just 2-4 ATS at home, despite winning 14 of their last 16 games. It means the Spurs are just kind of driving with the speed governor on the cart; fast enough to win, but never fast enough to attract any attention. I expect a similar effort tonight.
Miami is 9-3 SU in their last twelve games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 contests. They obviously miss Chris Bosh but have been getting enough contributions elsewhere to not just maintain, but to actually thrive. They are 0-5 ATS in their last five games against the Spurs, but tonight’s line reflects that recent dominance to an extreme. San Antonio minus 7.5? Sure. Laying 12? I’ll pass.
I’ll take Miami to compete on the road and do no worse than cover.