We are seeking a fifth-straight NBA winner tonight with the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road against the tank-enthusiast Phoenix Suns. It's hard to see OKC losing, but can they also cover the mark away from home??
We kept the beat rolling last night as the Pacers blasted the Bucks in Indy and kept the pressure on the Heat and Bulls as the interesting chase for the final playoff spot rolled along. Paul George, who has gone of the record very absolutely about the need to play for a contending team, continued to put his money where his mouth is with another big game, tallying 23 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. The Pacers have three games remaining: @Orlando, @Philly, and home versus the Hawks. Those are three winnable games, but always have to be careful on the road.
Their competition, Chicago and Miami, are even in the loss column with the Pacers taking a half-game edge with the extra win last night. Miami still faces a stern slate: @Toronto, @Washington, Cleveland and Washington. That’s a gauntlet – but there is a chance things will be resolved in the standings and they could catch a resting team at the end. Chicago’s is much more manageable with the pu-pu platter of Brooklyn home and home and a visit from the Magic. That’s about as free a 3-0 as it gets, but… it is the Bulls, so you never know for SURE…
One thing I do know for sure, is that we are straight killin’ it this week. We ripped off a fourth straight winner last night and a feeling greedy today!
Today’s NBA Pick:
Oklahoma City Thunder -8 at Phoenix Suns
If ever there was a night to rest Russ, this is IT! But since Russ-diculous refuses to rest and is genetically super-engineered to resist the effects of fatigue, we can assume it is full speed ahead (and I mean that oh-so-literally) for the triple double machine. And if Russ plays, there is no way they are losing at Phoenix. The spread? We can talk about that. But the straight-up W? Done deal.
And it isn’t just because Russ is amazing and Bledsoe and Knight are out for the season so some combo of Warren/Booker/ballboys are going to have to hilariously attempt to corral him, but more because the Suns are running out a lineup younger than all four Final Four teams this college season, and are FULLY committed to getting that Draft Pick in a few months. They have lost their last five games at HOME, and are 4-13 ATS over their last 17 games. They are in TANK MODE, and they are doing it beautifully; losing, while still having fun and getting valuable minutes for their young core – AND putting on a decent show for the fans despite the L’s (Devin Booker, anyone??!?)
Keep an eye on things throughout the day – JUST IN CASE they do err on the side of sanity and give Russ a pre-playoff breather. But there is no whiff of it anywhere right now – that is JUST my personal “don’t trust the NBA in April” paranoia speaking.
Oklahoma City is really good against teams that are NOT really good. They beat ‘em up. Can they win a playoff series? Probably not. But can they beat everyone else? Almost always.
Today’s Pick: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER -8