We notched a second straight winner last night as the Wizards knocked over the Celtics (literally, in the case of Kelly Oubre, Jr.) in a relatively easy, yet CHIPPY, 116-89 romp. The home team has yet to lose a game in the series, though Washington has looked like the slightly better team despite a 2-1 hole. I still think the two missed game-winners in Game Two will wind up being the difference in the series, though perhaps Washington can steal Game Five in Boston…
Elsewhere, can anyone else just FEEL the boredom oozing from the Golden State Warriors? For the second straight time they failed to cover the spread at home, but were at no point legitimately challenged in the game. They are barely pushing their starters and have yet to trail for a single second in the Utah series. The scene shifts to Salt Lake tomorrow, so perhaps the Dubs will actually have to lace ‘em up for a nice, but it just feels like another round of scrimmages before the postseason truly begins for the two-time Western Conference Champs.
We have two Game Threes tonight as the Raptors try to get on the board and the Spurs and Rockets wacky series continues to evolve tonight.
Today’s NBA Pick:
San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets -4.5
Two night ago, I preached discipline and avoiding over-reacting and it paid handsome dividends with the Spurs 54-point turnaround in Game Two (and an easy winner). I am on the same mantra tonight, and we are going to apply it in the exact opposite fashion. Don’t overreact to the most recent sample size. Stay objective. Stay the course.
Houston is at home tonight, where they are likely to have a little extra energy and find the bottom of a few extra three-point attempts. It is kind of simple for Houston; hit threes and they win, scuffle from the arc and they lose. I’m banking on shots falling tonight for the lethal Houston shooters.
And then there is the Tony Parker injury. Let’s not get it twisted – losing 2017 Tony Parker isn’t losing 2011 Tony Parker. He is nowhere close to their best player and is probably not any better than his “backup” Patty Mills. But he IS a key cog in the rotation and his absence hurts the Spurs depth and playmaking severely. They were already in some trouble in this series after the Game One debacle gave away home court advantage, and now with little margin for error, they need every player they have to be at their best. The team has made the shift from the old Big Three, but still needs Tony Parker to contribute to be a Championship-level team.
Plus, going against Patrick Beverly is exhausting. Ask the indefatigable Russell Westbrook what kind of toll it takes battling that menace for six games. Now, Mills loses someone of equitable value to split that burden with. It will play a factor in this series.
What a difference a day makes, right? If Game Two and Game One were reversed, we would have to lay 6 or 7 tonight. Instead, with the recent strong showing by the Spurs, we get a nice fair price. I’ll eat the four and a half and take the home Rockets.
Today’s NBA Pick: HOUSTON ROCKETS -4.5