Things aren’t great in La La Land right now. No, it’s not the usual stench from the Lakers that is the current cause for the concern; rather it is the really rough patch the Clippers can’t seem to shake their way out of right now. Last night’s loss to the Pelicans without Anthony Davis might be the new low point. It has been a season of odd turmoil in LA, highlighted by Blake Griffin braking his hand on their trainer’s face, but through it all, the team actually performed pretty well.
It is obvious the Blake Griffin-less magic has evaporated, and they need to get their franchise power forward back up to speed quickly or they are looking at a tough first round and a quick second against Golden State. Not that they are upending the Warriors WITH him, but the way they are going now, it is looking like four yawners before the Warriors go home and rest for the Spurs.
We took an L yesterday with Philly failing to get under the number. Let’s see if we can bounce back with a week-starting winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Antonio Spurs -6.5 at Charlotte Hornets
Not many a man has made a living betting against the Spurs, so one better be careful when wading into those shark-infested waters. So, can Charlotte sneak one against the visiting Spurs who are fresh off the heels of their impressive home win over Golden State in which they held the Warriors to an improbably-low 79 points. But is the motivation the same tonight? They are on the road, the season is winding down, they sent their message to the Warriors, but there is still little hope of realistically catching them for the first playoff seed.
In short, does San Antonio have their foot on the gas tonight?
And even if they do, this isn’t an easy game. Yes, the Spurs have beaten Charlotte eleven straight times. But since late January, the Hornets have been outplayed by only the Spurs and Warriors across the league. This isn’t business-as-usual for the Lottery frequenters in Charlotte; this is a team that expects to win at least one playoff series for the first time in a LONG time.
Charlotte is 9-2 SU in their last eleven home games and is a sparkling 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games overall. Meanwhile, the Spurs, who do keep winning games, are just 3-6 ATS in their last nine games overall. The Warriors win was thrilling, but by and large, this team has just been workman-like in getting wins with JUST enough energy expended to secure the W. That means light minute loads for key players and no real fear of accidentally dropping a game or two. Their second seed is almost mathematically secure with close to a month to play and the one seed is a longshot. Coach Pop is just biding his time, lurking as quietly as a team that could win 70 games and go undefeated at home for an entire season can be…
I think San Antonio probably wins, but I like the Hornets with the points. This team has been lights-out at home and likely has a little more motivation tonight.