Think the NBA regrets locking in to fixed dates for the NBA Finals? After last night’s absolute decimation in Boston – Cleveland won 130-86 – there appears to be nothing much worth watching until we finally get to the inevitable Golden State vs. Cleveland rubber match. Don’t get me wrong, watch two teams win Game Two of the Conference Finals in such overwhelmingly dominating fashion makes the Finals themselves even more intriguing. But the massive layoff likely after these two series are over in swift fashion kills the vibe a little bit.
Alas, in the here and now, we do have one more potential chance to get some decent basketball. After all, Kawhi is likely to play, the Spurs have had four days to rest and they are now on their home floor. Can they get a home win and put at least a little sprinkle on intrigue into the proceedings?
Let’s check out Game Three of the Western Conference Finals for tonight’s featured pick.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Western Conference Finals – Game Three (Warriors Lead 2-0)
Golden State Warriors -7 at San Antonio Spurs
Game Two was one of the more humiliating blowouts in San Antonio Spurs stories playoff history, so the storyline is already well-written for the “Coach Pop magic” and the “heart of a champion” storyline tonight. But is it a little over-romantic to think that three days was enough for Kawhi to heal? And is it ignoring the pesky fact that they are facing one of the best teams in the history of the NBA??
It feels reckless to make TOO large of a wager on tonight’s game, simply because none of us REALLY know how Kawhi is feeling and how effective he will be able to be. If he is at full strength, why wouldn’t you take the Spurs at home getting a fat seven points? After all, last time we saw Kawhi on the foor, he and his mates were absolutely manhandling the Warriors IN Golden State. Put him back in the mix at home? Compelling pro-Spurs argument.
Of course, the Spurs are listing him as questionable, and as always, are being quite loquacious about the situation. Coach Pop offered a “we’ll see.” And Kawhi grunted twice and might have blinked… In all seriousness, Kevin Durant said it best, “I am 100% sure he will play.” I wouldn’t go quite with K.D’s odds, but echo the sentiment; Kawhi will find a way on to the floor. And I’ll trust that if he is on the floor, he will be a positive contributor. Game Three is essentially “last stand” time for the grizzled Spurs. I think they pull one out tonight and at least compete enough not to get blown out on their home floor.
I’ll take the pile of points, but have also seen the Spurs as high as +250 on the money line, which has some interesting value.
Today’s NBA Pick: SAN ANTONIO SPURS +7
EDITORS NOTE 1:45 pm: Kawhi has been announced as officially OUT. The line has jumped to -9 in most books. I’m not nearly as wild about this play, but not bullish on the Warriors either. I’ll stick with my original pick and take the +9 – but this is a small play. Not a lock AT ALL. I think the Spurs have some pride and will compete, but they are definitely out manned tonight…