When does a big win not feel like a big win? When you are the Milwaukee Bucks last night.
The Bucks should be sky-high after their dramatic buzzer-beating road win at slumping Phoenix last night. The 96-94 win pushes their record to a stunning 13-12 – this was the WORST team in the NBA last year, most people forget their record was WORSE than the Sixers. This year they look like a legit playoff team in the Eastern Conference and have one of the ore dynamic young cores in the NBA with Giannis, Jabari and Brandin Knight.
That is why seeing Jabari Parker taken off the court last night takes some of the enthusiasm and joy from last night’s ebullient scene in Phoenix. Time will reveal how serious the injury is (finger-crossed he returns sooner than later and no worse for wear). The early diagnosis is a knee sprain, so hopefully it isn’t too serious.
In the meantime, there was no conflicting emotions in our winner with the Hawks. Atlanta bounced back from their buzzer-beating, nine game winning streak-snapping loss to Orlando by dispatching the Bulls at home. The win was the Hawks 10th in 11 tries and gave us a second straight NBA winner. Let’s try to keep it rolling tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies -2.5
Any talk of NBA basketball HAS to revolve around this game tonight. Not only are they the two top teams in the NBA according to record, they are also teams very few would have projected to be 1-2 in the standings with a combined record of 41-6. Jaw-dropping stuff.
SO who has the edge tonight? Golden State’s metrics are off the chart in nearly every aspect; their offensive and defensive efficiency are bordering on legendary and their shot-making abilities need no embellishment – they are tops in the NBA. But the Grindhouse has been a house of horrors for visiting opponents, with only the Spurs a week ago going into Memphis and winning a game since last March. They are dominant at home, but surprisingly only 6-6 ATS.
Both teams have ridiculous 9+ ppg margins in their respective home/away splits. The Warriors are +9.6 ppg away from home, and the Grizz are +9.4 in The Grindhouse. The Warriors have played far more away games than home games, which bodes well for their pursuit of the overall #1 seed, and are 13-1 straight up and an even more impressive 10-4 ATS.
All that said, how can you pick against Memphis at home?? This is Golden State’s third tough road game in four nights – that’s nearly always a recipe for disaster for the road team. On a normal day, on a neutral floor? Sure, give me Golden State. But a tired team on the road against an inspired team who is defensively-smothering at home on a rare national TV appearance? It’s a lot to overcome.
I love this Golden State team and they have been very kind to me at the wagering window this season. But tonight is a nearly impossible task. I’ll take the Grizz at home to snap the Warriors epic streak.