Last night was another good night for thesportsgeek.com, notching our sixth NBA win in seven games, but it was an even better night for the NBA as a league, as two interesting series went from “good watch” to “must see TV” with valiant Game Five stands by the underdog road teams.
The most disappointing series, Boston and New York, is rapidly becoming the most compelling. The parallels to the miracle 3-0 Red Sox over Yankees comeback are inevitable, but with the bad blood beginning to boil; JR Smith’s Game Four chicken-wing on Jason Terry, last night’s end-of-game almost melee; things are going to be absolutely frenetic for two of the NBA’s most storied franchises this weekend for Game Six in Boston.
Tonight, two more road teams will try to stave off elimination for a second straight game, but like the Celtics and Rockets last night, they will have to win games on the road to do so? The other difference? The Rockets and Celtics were decisive underdogs in their series. The Nets and especially the Nuggets are trying to avoid disaster…
So are we in store for two higher-seeded teams forcing the sweetest words in professional basketball “Game Seven” or will we have a few underdogs close out their series??
Let’s dig into an awesome pair of Game Sixes for tonight’s free picks…
Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls -1.5 (Total: 183.5)
The Bulls had a chance to close the series out in Game Five, but were handily beaten by Brooklyn. Now the Nets will need to do something they haven’t done in a season and a half, win in Chicago, to prolong their playoff lives.
Conventional wisdom says back the home team, but that would have led you astray nearly as often as not in the NBA Playoffs in 2013 (ATS-wise), and would have been a killer this week. I think it is worth bucking conventional wisdom again this week, and paying close attention to the Nets tonight. Chicago won a fortunate overtime thriller, but it took an other-worldly effort from Nate Robinson to pull it off. I don’t think he (or the Bulls) has another game like that in their tanks.
Brooklyn is the better team. Chicago has the ability to summon a better EFFORT. I am going to give the mercurial Nets the effort benefit of the doubt tonight, and pick them to get a road win and force a Game Seven.
Free Pick: Brooklyn Nets +1.5
Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors -1 (Total: 211)
Golden State will have the benefit of as frenzied of a crowd as you will witness this season in the NBA tonight at “Roaricle Arena.” I expect Steph Curry to be the recipient of some physical play tonight, but let’s all take a deep breath and put Mark Jackson’s comments in a proper perspective. Do you actually think Game Five of this series is the FIRST time a team has tried to get a little extra physical with the slight guard? Of course NOT. Teams have been trying to bump, clutch, grab and rough-up Steph Curry since he was a freshman at Davidson. But Steph can get his shot off in the smallest of windows with the smallest amounts of time. He will be JUST FINE.
And so will Golden State. The Nuggets were a horrible road team all season long at just 19-24. Golden State is one of the toughest places to play in all of the NBA. I like the Warriors to close out the series tonight in exciting fashion and give basketball fans everywhere a gift; two more weeks of getting to watch Steph Curry play on the big stage.
Free Pick: Golden State Warriors -1