The Lake show rolled on yesterday with a big win over the Bulls, putting LA in solid playoff position. Now the question feels less like “can the Lakers make the Playoffs?” and more like “can they climb all the way up to the sixth spot?” If they can, it would set up one of the most entertaining first round series in recent memory if they line up with the Clippers in an All-Staples Center fiesta.
While the West continues to get more compelling, unfortunately for NBA fans, the East gets less and less so. Between the injury to Amare’ Stoudamire and the thorough undressing of the Pacers last night by the Heat (who have now won 18 straight games), is there even any remote possibility Miami doesn’t storm through the Eastern Conference? It makes for a rather unsuspensful month and a half of basketball – though watching this Heat team play at their peak is an absolute treat.
It’s hard to believe but we are now just a month away from NBA Playoff time, and every game really matters down the stretch. Let’s take a look at a few good matchups tonight in across the league.
New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors -3
The Warriors are in an absolute free-fall, and I’d be afraid to go with them tonight. The Knicks have a quick turnaround to get out West after a costly win over Utah in which they lost Amare’ Stoudamire yet again. Golden State has dropped five of seven, and the Knicks are a pretty good team on the road. They are 16-12 on the season and enter tonight having covered in five straight games.
Golden State has failed to cover in seven of their last nine games. Things are getting tense in the Bay and it shows on the court. I like the Knicks to deal another crushing blow to Golden State’s pursuit of playoff glory.
Free Pick: New York Knicks +3
Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz -9
Speaking of free-falling out of the playoffs, let’s introduce the Utah Jazz! However, they might have just the remedy the doctor ordered in a visit from the Detroit Pistons tonight. The Pistons are on the back end of a road back to back after getting absolutely humiliated by the Clippers last night. Poor Brandin Knight will live eternal in YouTube infamy after being swallowed up and spit out on a ferocious DeAndre Jordan alley-oops finish.
Worse than the highlight reel is the fact they gave up 70 points in the first half. This team isn’t defending well enough to win games, especially on the road at one of the tougher places to win in the NBA.
Give me the Jazz by double digits tonight.
Free Pick: Utah Jazz -9