We split our NBA picks, and in the process, every NBA series played last night just got infinitely more interesting. The Bulls rallied back to 1-2 with a huge road win at Washington. I missed that pick, but in my defense, did any of you envision Mike Dunleavy giving them 35 points last night to finally provide some life to a moribund Bulls offense?? In the nightcap, the regression to the norm theory held true, as James Harden rebounded from a tough start to the series, scoring 37 points and grabbing nine boards, and LaMarcus Aldridge shot a pedestrian 8 of 22 from the floor and scored “only” 22 points.
As a result, both road teams won their games, making the road teams a perfect 6-0 in the #4/#5 matchups this playoffs. I’m not sure that’s happened before, but even if it has, it’s a pretty unlikely circumstance.
The Nets also withstood a furious Raptors comeback , to push their series to a 2-1 lead, and pushing all five series that have played three times to that 2-1 mark. The wacky and thrilling 2014 Playoff ride continues today with four more games, so let’s see if we can notch a pair of winners.
Today’s Free Picks:
Indiana Pacers -2 at Atlanta Hawks (Total: 184)
Stubborn or stupid? I’ll let you decide whether or not you want to ride with me on this pick. I’ve caught some flak for it, and I do NOT deny that the eye-test tells you the Atlanta Hawks are the better team so far in this series. Yet, I am still sticking with the Pacers to rebound on the road and even this series.
There’s clearly something going on in Indiana. Colin Cowherd made a loose reference to the Pacers comparing them to the situation in Cleveland five or six year ago when Delonte West allegedly slept with Lebron’s Mom. I’m not sure why on Earth he would go to that particular place, but you can just tell he is dancing around SOMETHING he knows that is causing a big rift in the locker room. It feels like a little too much conjecture to me, but the rumor mill is running out of control right now in Indianapolis.
What they CAN control is how they manage Roy Hibbert. My take is that he plays this afternoon and that they will go to him early and see if they can get him going. If not? Look for Scola early and often. It is desperation time, and I’m going to ride with the Pacers on last time…
San Antonio Spurs -3.5 at Dallas Mavericks (Total: 201)
The Mavericks played well in Game One and dominated Game Two to get this series even, and now they get the advantage of playing at home. And I’m STILL rolling with the Spurs. They beat the Mavericks nine straight times before Game Two’s disastrous blowout loss. In that game they turned the ball over 22 times (Dallas had 7) and missed 11 free throws. I doubt if either of those happen again the rest of this series.
San Antonio is too good to play another game like their last effort. Look for them to bounce back in a major way this afternoon in Big D. It wouldn’t be the first time the Spurs have marched into Dallas and gotten a big playoff win, they’ve done it a bunch over the last eight years and I like them to do it again today.