It doesn’t get much better than today if you are an NBA fan. First, we get a rare treat – a Game Seven in the Conference Semi-Finals, especially between two of the youngest teams in the NBA; both have an average age of under twenty six.
Then, in prime time, Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals between the current MVP and the former two-time MVP as the top two seeds commence a great series to see which young star will get to play for their first NBA Championship.
It’s a great day in the NBA – but even better if you have a few winners while enjoying the action. So, let’s move on to today’s free picks…
Today’s Free NBA Picks:
Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder -6.5 (Total: 191.5)
The Thunder didn’t respond to their first close-out opportunity well, playing one of their worst games of the season in Memphis in Game Six. Particularly abysmal was the play of star Kevin Durant, who had only 11 points on twenty six shot attempts. On the other side, Grizzlies star Zach Randolph brought his A-game, scoring 30 points and snatching 13 rebounds.
Today, one game, one chance to write a major chapter in two young star’s legacies. Despite the Game Six struggles, I still like Kevin Durant to have the upper hand today at home and to come out with an epic game, and, while cautious of Russell Westbrook’s possible over exuberance leading to a few too many shot attempts today, I still think the young Thunder take a huge, mature step forward today, and play together in championship fashion.
At the end of the day, hone court advantage is huge in the NBA. There’s a reason people jockey for position all year long – it is to have the home floor in this exact situation. The Thunder is 30-11 on their home floor this season. That’s a pretty exceptional mark, and leans pretty heavily in their favor.
Give me the Thunder tonight, even laying the 6.5. Once the game gets comfortably in hand for the home team, normal Game 7’s unravel – the losing team gets frustrated and sloppy – takes bad shots and loses their composure. That’s normal teams. The Grizzlies are a bunch of 23 and 24 year old kids whose emotional leader is Zach Randolph… so yeah…
Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls -2 (Total: 180)
NBA fans get the matchup they were waiting for; the two top teams record-wise in the East; the youngest MVP in NBA history, Derrick Rose leads his Chicago Bulls against the manufactured super-team of the Miami Heat. The troika of superstars; LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh take on the sometimes one-man band of Derrick Rose’s Bulls.
The line likes the Bulls at home tonight… but I just can’t figure it out. This series seems to scream Miami Heat, all the way, especially after the way they completely dismantled the Boston Celtics.
More than a few people thought the Dwayne Wade was Chicago bound this summer, including Wade himself for a few mornings…of course, everyone knows the end result. Now, the Bulls and their “consolation prizes” and…coincidentally the best record in the NBA, get their chance to prove it is merited against the very cast of characters whose spurning in summer lead to the very creation of these two opponents.
I’m not sold on Chicago. In their 11 games this Playoffs, only three have been played well. They were pushed to the brink by both the Pacers and the Hawks – neither of whom have a fraction of the talent of the Heat.
The Bulls are in for a rude awakening in my humble opinion in this series. The Heat play as good a defense as the Bulls do – but have a lot more offensive firepower. The Heat will try to spread out the defensive focus on Derrick Rose, but at the end of the day – if need be, they have D-Wade and LeBron at their disposal.
I think the Heat get Game One on the road, en route to an easy series win.