Every NBA series seems to be tightening, but the inevitable "Warriors vs. Cavs III" is on a perfect 7-0 path. Can Golden State close out Portland tonight to keep pace?
If it is fair to say that a 4-0 series sweep in which the commanding and overwhelming favorite advanced was actually a really close series, then that would be the most apt description for the Cavaliers dispatching of the Indiana Pacers. It wasn’t pretty, and in fairness, the Pacers probably could have won three of those four games. But in the end, LeBron is just that; THE END. As in “the end of the road” for any other Eastern Conference dreamer since the advent of the 2010’s. Indiana, Atlanta, Toronto – those dreams go to die in The King’s boneyard, and it appears that 2017 could be just another chapter in the most repetitive book in NBA history…
Aside from the King shutting things down, the rest of the East is getting REALLY interesting. Boston has come all the way back from their “insurmountable” 0-2 hole to even the series and reclaim home court advantage. Toronto rebounded from one of the worst offensive performances in NBA Playoff history to win and ugly game in Milwaukee to even the series and Atlanta got on the board in Game Three with a home win over Washington to keep that series on serve.
Meanwhile, the Cavs and LeBron get some much-needed REST.
It’s never good to be hyperbolic when thousands and thousands of people see your words and the Internet so dutifully caches them, but the East is OVER. Just as it was before it started…
Today’s NBA Pick:
Golden State Warriors -7 at Portland Trailblazers
This is where we have gotten in the modern NBA. There is real reason to wonder if Golden State will be casual with their starters tonight in an effort to gain some rest before the much more challenging Clippers/Jazz series. Kevin Durant has missed Games Two and Three, and it would seem foolish to push him tonight in a game they really have no urgency to win. That isn’t to say that Steph, Klay and Dray aren’t suiting up, just to say it might not be a fierce affair tonight.
That said, I STILL think the Dubs close and cover in the process. There is something intensely demoralizing about a 3-0 hole against the greatest three-season performing team by record in the history of the NBA. Sure, no one wants to get swept in the postseason, but there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
CJ McCollum and Damian “Big Game Dame” Lillard have been sensational. They are fun to watch, insanely talented and in the conversation for best backcourt in the NBA (non-Golden State category). But they just aren’t quite enough to overcome the mighty Warriors. Golden State is 18-1 in their last 19 games and 13-3-2 ATS. They are 9-1 SU in their last ten games against Portland with an average point differential over more than a dozen points.
Portland won’t go down without gunning, but I think Golden State wears them down and breaks their spirit in the fourth quarter.
Today’s NBA Pick: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS -7