The Jazz roared past the Raptors in the fourth quarter last night (perhaps the effect of Toronto being on a back-to-back?) and notched a 93-89 win. Unfortunately/Fortunately for me (depending on one’s bent for optimism) it led to a push on last night’s pick. And maybe it serves me right. After all, I flirted with taking the Pacers against Philadelphia and seriously, why wouldn’t anyone just fade the Sixers until that trainwreck is pulled off the tracks? Even a sixth man on the court couldn’t help Philly be competitive (and yes, they actually had six men on the court at one point last night), as the Pacers rolled them out of their own gym.
Alas, we are back with a purpose tonight, and MAN is tonight a good night to watch some NBA action. The TNT late game, Golden State at LAC, has become one of the best rivalries in the NBA and I expect tonight to be epic. “If not now, when?” That’s a fair question to ask about the Warriors and the possibility of them losing a game. If they aren’t going to lose on the road against a top contender, when do they finally drop a game???
Enough on that for now, let’s dig in to a deeper breakdown for today’s marquee matchup.
Today’s Free Pick:
Golden State Warriors -6.5 at Los Angeles Clippers
The Clips nearly nipped all this “greatest start in NBA history” talk in the bud weeks ago. They had the Champs on the ropes in Oracle, leading late in the fourth quarter before Steph Curry whipped past them on the outside like a NASCAR drafting patiently. The Warriors won (but didn’t cover) and we all know what has happened since; they have won. Every time.
So will a trip to La-La Land be the end of the bliss? I think not. First of all, the obvious; without Chris Paul and JJ Reddick, the Clippers are not the same team. They are missing their starting backcourt, and while Jamal Crawford can give them the missing points, there is no “Jamal Crawford” to score for the second unit now, and let’s be honest, Crawford is not setting the table for Blake and DJ in the same fashion. Better crash the boards fellas!
The Warriors have had a few clunkers lately (sounds funny for a 12-0 team, but it is true) but they STILL lead the league in offensive efficiency at 110.7 and are fourth defensively at 95.1. The staggering part is the margin between those two numbers. Call it “small ball” call it “fluky”, heck Doc, even insinuate their championship was a tad lucky. But right now we are in the midst of a transcendent, All-Time team. Don’t think for a second they are looking forward to giving Doc Rivers and the Clippers another glimpse of that tonight.
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