You gotta love how the Golden State Warriors are finally apologetically embracing 73 wins. Not only is it the RIGHT thing to do (someone wins a title every year, this is a chance to be an immortal forever team), it also makes these last three weeks more watchable. With the Western seeds all but established, and the East being in flux but seemingly irrelevant as no one three through ten seems too much better than anyone else, the Warriors quest for history is just about the only story line to hold us over until the Second Season finally begins.
The pursuit of glory feels pretty safe tonight with the Warriors hosting the stumbling Mavericks. They are 14 point favorites and are a perfect 33-0 this season at home. So they should be safe here. That leaves only ten more games. Even IF they lost BOTH to the Spurs (and I think they will split home and home), they would still have to lose one more game to fall short of the record. That means somewhere in the home and home with Memphis, a trip to Utah or home games against Washington, Boston, Portland and Minnesota, someone has to derail a focused march towards history. It doesn’t look likely to me.
Oh, and there is the home game against Philadelphia… so you’re saying there’s a chance….
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Today’s Free Pick:
Denver Nuggets -3 at Los Angeles Lakers
I can’t remember the last time I could express surprise that the Lakers were an underdog, but consider today that rare treat. I am surprised the Lakers are dogs at home to the Nuggets.
Denver is 6-4 ATS and 6-4 SU over their last ten games, but no one is going to mistake them for a very good basketball team – and one of those wins was the garbage half-court stumbling heave to beat the lowly Sixers. Even over their winning stretch they have nearly a minus-three point differential and are allowing over 108.2 points per contest. Not good.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have been really lousy. I get that. They stink. They are just 3-7 in their last ten games and 1-5 in their last six. But they have won three of seven home games, including the Warriors miracle, and seem to at least be competing hard despite the misery of the season. They have some young players hungry to show they are ready to be more focal points of the franchise once Kobe (finally) gets out of the way.
Denver is likely without Kenneth Faried and certainly without Danilo Gallinari, who gave a nice little tantalizing glimpse of him healthy but then immediately went back to the usual state of injury.
When two lousy teams have little to play for, I’ll take the home team, especially if they are healthier and getting points. Give me the Lakers and the three.