I don’t usually apologize for a losing pick. After all, it is sports, and a completely amazing handicapper generally drops about nine of twenty picks over the longer sample size of the season. Losses happen. There’s a reason Vegas ain’t closing many sports books.
But last night’s loss? I’ll wear that one with shame. What a really, really, dumb pick. Seriously. Barf. Terrible. I got tricked by my eyes and went against the data. I watched Washington OUTPLAY Boston for six of eight quarters in Boston in Games One and Two and fell into a comfort zone watching them bully around Isaiah Thomas in Washington and thought it could spill over into a Game Five upset.
But home teams RULE this series and both Boston and Washington (even more so) are completely different teams on the road. Both were 30-11 at home. Neither was good on the road. So naturally, the road team hit a major funk and got housed.
Bad pick me.
Alas, we shall get up off the mat tonight with a lesson learned and a mistake I won’t be repeating by getting cute or over-analyzing micro-trends. No eye test tonight. Simply a logical play.
Today’s NBA Pick:
San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets -6.5
The Spurs are probably pretty fortunate to be in the position they are in tonight; beaten and battered by not NEEDING to win tonight to feel good about their chances to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Had they dropped Game Five? I think Houston wins this series. But Manu’s Miracle might just be enough to give the veteran Spurs one last crack at adding some more heft to their already amazing resumes.
Let’s start with the obvious problem for San Antonio: Kawhi Leonard’s ankle was so bad forty eight hours ago that Coach Pop left him on the bench for OVERTIME in Game Five of a 2-2 series. He is obviously NOT HEALTHY. He was upgraded to “probable” for tonight’s game, but I am very skeptical of him really being on the floor much (or at all) tonight. I get why you wouldn’t want to risk a Game Seven against a team with the three-point proclivity of the Rockets; a hot night from the arc could send you packing, regardless of where the game is played. But this is a game Houston SHOULD win anyhow – so pushing Kawhi and risking him for Game Seven seems really, really dangerous.
If Kawhi isn’t at 100%, I think James Harden learned his lesson from Tuesday’s brutal overtime and will fare better against Jonathon Simmons and Danny Green, and whoever else Coach Pop throws his way. The Spurs are also down Tony Parker, and though Patty Mills has responded AMAZINGLY well, it is still asking a lot to expect him to give you 20 a night the rest of this series.
Houston has too many weapons at home and is healthier. I think they win tonight, Coach Pop puts it on cruise-control early once it appears Houston has the W, and that the Rockets end up covering with ease.
Today’s NBA Pick: HOUSTON ROCKETS -6.5