Think the Clippers regret that Blake Griffin turnover/Chris Paul missed shot now? The Spurs flexed some serious championship muscle, absolutely throttling the Clippers 100-73 in San Antonio last night to wrest home court advantage away in the series and take a 2-1 lead. It is just one game, but it felt bigger last night. So much for Tony Parker’s nagging injury derailing the champs…
Meanwhile, we ran our postseason NBA record to 5-2 ATS as Paul Pierce and the Wizards dealt the Raptors a near-fatal blow last night, pulling away late and burying the Raptors in a nearly impossible 3-0 deficit. It’s funny, the NBA Playoffs have the reputation for the first round last forever, but going into tonight only ONE series features two teams with a win. Everyone else is making swift work of their opponent. We shall see if Portland if Brooklyn can earn a home win tonight or if Milwaukee and New Orleans can bounce back from gut-wrenching game three home losses to stave off elimination tonight.
Let’s try and notch a fourth straight winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Golden State Warriors -7.5 at New Orleans Pelicans
It would be easy to buy into the “they had their chance, blew it, and now this series is OVER” argument. And I couldn’t disagree. This series IS over. But maybe not tonight. And certainly not without a fight.
Lost in the discussion of the stunning comeback/failure (depending upon your rooting interest) is the fact that the Pelicans have contended in this series for most of all three games. In fact, they are a perfect 3-0 ATS in the postseason. It’s no consolation to the players and coaches, who are still in an 0-3 hole, but it is worth noting for us that Golden State has not covered a single game in this series.
If a veteran team had dropped Game Three in the manner the Pelicans did, I’d be more likely to buy the “pack it in” theory. But this is a young team who views this as a building process, who has taken confidence from their season ending win over San Antonio and their competitive play in this series, and who would be disappointed by being swept. I expect them to come out and play well tonight.
Will they win? I’m not sold on that. I do know they will probably FOUL if they are up three with less than five seconds remaining, but that’s a whole other column for another day. In the meantime, they haven’t been blown out yet, and I don’t think they concede tonight’s game either. I like a close game and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pelicans can salvage one on their home floor and avoid the sweep.