Our NBA winning streak was snapped last night as the Pacers failed to cover after allowing the Lakers to score 38 points in the final quarter. It was a strange mental lapse for one of the league’s most efficient and stingy defensive teams and it turned a walkover into a game Indiana had to knock down a few late free throws to secure. And if you bleed the Purple and Gold, it has to be conflicting to think, on a day when your idol Kobe announced he will be retiring, man if Kobe wasn’t out there we could have won this game. Kobe went 2 of 17 from the floor and his victory lap is turning into a painful watch. Injuries and Father Time catch up to everyone, but it is never fun to watch one of the greatest scuffle this badly. It wouldn’t be unfair to say he is the worst player in the NBA right now – if you are looking at efficiency statistics, in fact it becomes hard to argue.
I hope there are a few glimmers of a happy ending in these final few months, but it is looking less and less likely…
Let’s start a new week with a new winning streak tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Antonio Spurs -3.5 at Chicago Bulls
The Spurs are rolling. We cashed an easy winner with them blasting the Hawks Saturday night, and I’m going back to the well again tonight. The Spurs are a nice wager while the season is still in a stage where you know they are going to play their players and they aren’t on a back-to-back. When everyone is healthy an playing, they have the best ten man rotation in the NBA. With everyone at Coach Pop’s disposal, the results are usually good on both ends of the floor.
How good? Well, they’ve held their opponents to 89.6 point a night so far this season and have held six of their last nine opponents under 84. That’s a pretty staggering feat, especially for a team that is scoring right at 100 themselves.
Meanwhile, Chicago is going through a tough offensive slump. It will be nice to be back home, but not so nice that the Spurs are waiting for them. The Bulls have shot 37.6% in their last three games and have allowed a 73-29 advantage in transition in their last four games. You gotta be sharper than that to catch the Spurs napping.
I think tonight is a big salvo is announcing the NBA title is a three team race; the Warriors as the daunting front-runner, the Cavs as the presumptive Eastern challenger and the Spurs as that dangerous, fantastic team that you’d be wise not to ignore.