Kobe Bryant had 44 points in just three quarters last night… and just like in the vintage Lakers days, that bevy of points usually meant the same thing; the Lakers lost. And last night, they didn’t just lose, the lost badly. Admittedly, it is entertaining to watch Kobe hoist 34 shots in addition to earning 16 free throws (that’s 50 times Kobe chucked it at the rim) while the rest of the team manages just 65 attempts (keeping in mind they played the entire fourth quarter with Kobe marinating on the bench). Just like it is entertaining watching the combined defensive efforts of Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and the aforementioned Kobe allow staggering amounts of points and uncontested looks.
But it is a sad, sad thing for Lakers fans because I don’t think this thing is getting any better anytime soon. Maybe they tank and luck their way to Jahlil Okafor. But is the Okafor/Julius Randle/Jordan Hill interior really going to sell tickets and win playoff games?? Things are bad in LA, and the train wreck is only going to get worse…
Meanwhile, we will try to be un-Laker like and notch a few winners to start the new week.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Denver Nuggets at Cleveland Cavaliers -11.5
Oh, you think your defense sucks Laker-fans? Wait until you get a load of US! The Nuggets and their porous defense head to the King’s castle tonight allowing an average of 108.2 points per game. That is a tough recipe when facing a team that is SCORING 107.4 points per game and has looked better and better every game the last few weeks.
Cleveland appears light years beyond their six-assist debacle of two weeks ago, winning their last four games by scoring at least 110 points in each contest. They are 3-1 ATS over that stretch and looked like a team that can be playing in June.
The Cavs should cover tonight as long as they CARE to… that’s always a tricky thing with some of the top teams in the NBA when they are laying large amounts of points to an inferior opponent at home. I think this chemistry experiment is still so much in its infancy that Coach Blatt won’t let an opportunity to get his guys some burn together slip away. I expect Cleveland to put up 115+ tonight and have some fun doing it. Look for the ball to move easily and for everyone to get in on the action tonight with good shots in plentiful abundance.
Laying 11.5 is a bunch, but Denver has lost four of their last six games by 16 or more points. None of those foes were as tough as the Cavaliers at home. Lay the points and enjoy the show.