It was closer than it looked like it was going to be for most of the afternoon, but the Boston Celtics held off a late run by the Clippers to notch their fourth straight win since Rajon Rondo went down with a season-ending injury, as well as notch another NBA cover for thesportsgeek.com.
Before we get to today’s pick, and interesting stat/figure for you to chew on and digest. It has become quite fashionable to bash the Lakers and to kick dirt on their Playoff graves (they are only 3.5 games back of Houston, 4 back of Utah going into tonight), but of all the teams currently NOT in playoff position in the NBA, the Lakers are the only ones with a positive scoring differential (+1.5). I’m not saying that means they are playoff bound, but it would be wise to at least continue considering them a dangerous team…
OK, on to more pressing issues as we try to keep the four-game NBA winning streak intact with another cover…
Portland Trailblazers at Minnesota Timberwolves -3 (Total: 192.5)
The Timberwolves have every reason to pack up the season and call it a day after losing franchise cornerstone Kevin Love for most of the season with an injury. They are just 4-12 with Love out of the lineup, but they have played hard in most of the games.
However, playing hard doesn’t necessarily equate to positive results. They’ve lost ten of their last twelve games after snapping a seven-game losing streak this weekend with home win over New Orleans. Tonight they take on Portland who is currently one game behind Houston for the final playoff spot in the West. The Blazers have won four of six, but have also LOST six of ten overall, including four in a row on the road.
The Blazers are just 7-15 on the road this season, but they have already gone into the Target Center and won, and that was against a team that had their best player on the floor, unlike tonight. Without Love (not that he is a defensive giant) expect Alderidge and Batum to have their way offensively, and Minnesota left with little to counter it. I like Portland to going in and win tonight. Most experts and the Vegas money are going Minnesota’s way (nearly a 3-1 clip so far), but I am sticking to my guns on this one. Minnesota has been beaten by double digits in five of their last ten games and has lost four of their last five games at home by an average margin of just under 10ppg.
Give me Portland on the road with the win and cover.
Free Pick: Portland Trailblazers +3