We notched another 2-0 NBA night yesterday, and will be looking to build on that streak with a few great games tonight. It will be a nice relief to have two fantastic games on the court rather than the ever-emerging story of who ISN’T on the court. If you were to make a lineup JUST of players who are injured for the Playoffs, I’d dare say you are a small forward away from being the favorite to win the Western Conference (I’d still pick the Heat to win it all…). Just imagine a lineup of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Kobe Bryant and David Lee… you’d need a few extra basketballs, but that’s not a bad talent base to start building around.
Both Western Conference series tonight have been thrilling at times, and in the case of the Clippers and Grizzlies; compelling even during some of the uglier stretches. So will tonight be more great theatre? I’m not sure both games will deliver the drama, but they should both be played at a high level.
Let’s dig in to tonight’s matchups…
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets -8 (Total: 212.5)
The Warriors have won three straight in this series, all since the injury to David Lee, and were it not for an Andre Miller turn-back-the-clock fourth quarter in Game One, this series could already be OVER. However, the series is not over, and as easy as it is to be swept up in Steph Curry mania, it is important to remember that Denver had the best home record in the NBA at 39-3 in the regular season and aren’t likely to capitulate without a fight tonight.
Curry is playing on a gimpy ankle. Though it didn’t seem to hamper him any in Game Four, it is possible he will be slightly slowed tonight. Also, George Karl is too good a coach to NOT make a few adjustments to the small, shooter-centric lineup that has given his Nuggets fits. I expect a better defensive effort from Denver tonight with a raucous crowd behind them.
Seven and a half or eight points is a pretty good line. I like Denver to win, but even in Denver’s two home games they were nowhere near putting an eight point win on the board. However, five of the last six matchups between these two teams climbed over the 210 point mark – it’s part of the reason most NBA fans wish this series could drag on for another dozen games. I like another up-tempo contest creeping over the 212 threshold.
Free Pick: Total POINTS OVER 212.5