We took the night off from NBA picks last night to reboot and focus on college, but by no means was last night devoid of action. The biggest headline was the Warriors roaring back with 38 points in a frantic fourth quarter to notch the road win 118-112 over a Miami squad that led most of the night. Steph was once again brilliant, flexing his MVP-worthiness with 42 points including the go-ahead three points with 38 seconds remaining over the outstretched Hassan Whiteside. The win pushed the Warriors to 51-5 and kept them ahead of the pace for regular season immortality. And yes, I recognize the argument that without a championship the record means nothing… but I still think it means SOMETHING. It means it was the greatest 82-game regular season in the history of NBA basketball – and that is saying something. Does it put more pressure on to win a title as well? Probably. But it is one amazing achievement no matter what.
Elsewhere, the Pacers stayed hot, getting a nice late win over the Knicks, the Raptors and Cavs prevailed and the Bulls skeleton crew notched a really good win over a surging Washington team despite adding Derrick Rose to the length DNP list last night.
It’s a limited schedule tonight with only six games on tap, but there are a few really intriguing ones (Can Golden State fight fatigue and win a sneaky back-to-back trap game in Orlando? Will the Blazers continue their surprising playoff season and deal the Rockets yet another big blow tonight on TNT?)
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Today’s Free Pick:
Oklahoma City Thunder -6 at New Orleans Pelicans
The road hasn’t been particularly kind to the Thunder lately. Better stated: the road hasn’t been too kind to Thunder bettors lately. They are getting wins, but not with much room to spare. Before last outing’s good win at Dallas (to snap a two-game losing streak) they had only won by a combined 21 points in road games against the dregs of the NBA; Knicks, Timberwolves (twice), Nuggets. Add in straight-up losses at Portland, Brooklyn and a four-point win over the Lakers, and it is not easy to see NOLA covering this game tonight.
New Orleans is getting six at home, and not for bad reason. This season has been AWFUL. The Pels are just 22-34 on the season. But they are 15-12 at home and have won eight of their last eleven home games. Anthony Davis reminded the world how dominant he can be with that monster 57/20 night last week, and I expect him to play well tonight on the national stage (TNT).
Can they get the win? Maybe not. Should they keep it close? The fact that OKC is just 2-9 ATS on the road in their last eleven games, despite MANY chances again bottom tier teams tells me they should.
I’ll take the Pels and the points tonight at home.