The Steph Curry show was temporarily slowed down last night as the Celtics held him to “just” 28 points in their home win over the Warriors. Steph has been amazing, but what has gotten lost a bit in the attention is that this is a team that is going to start feeling the heat really soon. They have dropped three straight games and seven of ten overall and are currently just four games ahead of the Lakers in the Playoff picture. Granted, they are in sixth place and would have to be jumped by Utah and Houston as well to be on the sidelines come playoff time, but all of a sudden they look a little vulnerable…
So can they stem the tide tonight and get a much needed win on the road? Let’s dig inside some numbers and trends for tonight’s free pick.
Golden State Warriors at Philadelphia 76’ers -1
It seems weird to call a March 2nd game between Golden State and Philly a “must-win” but it is pretty damn close to that for the Warriors tonight. They have been in a bit of a free-fall and really can’t afford another four-game losing streak. They need to get this game tonight.
There are a few disconcerting things if you want to bet on the Warriors. First, there is the fact they’ve lost three straight. However, I am willing to overlook that, as the NBA is a schedule-driven league though it often goes overlooked. Their losses are at Indy, at New York and at Boston. Those are all reasonable losses.
The second scary thing is that they are on the back end of a road back-to-back tonight. They’ve lost seven straight road games and have the possibility of being a little fatigued tonight. It seems like a Philly play, right?
Not so fast. Philly may be at home, but they have shown the ability to suck regardless of the venue. They have lost 5 of 7 home games, and the two wins were close games against Charlotte and Orlando, the two worst teams in the NBA. Coach Doug Collins has been beyond exasperated with his team, even bemoaning his plight to the media. That’s a real strong indication of a team that has checked out for the season.
I like Golden State for the simple fact that this game MEANS a ton more to them than it does Philly. Yes, they’ve dropped a ton of road games, but they were all against pretty good teams. The 76’ers do not fit that description. Golden State is 4-0 ATS in their last four games on the road against teams with a .400 winning percentage or lower. That means, like most second-tier playoff teams, they struggle on the road but beat the bad teams pretty regularly.
I am going to trust them to do just that tonight; beat a bad team in a game they really need to win.
Free Pick: Golden State Warriors +1