The second round of the NBA Playoffs are off to a great start, and if yesterday’s action was any indication, we can expect some very entertaining basketball. The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled out a desperately needed win thanks to two key forced turnovers and a Kevin Durant game-winning pull-up jumper with 11 seconds remaining on the clock. I still like Memphis to win the series, but yesterday’s Thunder win at least puts the pressure back on Memphis, where a game one win would have given them a ton of confidence and a relatively clean look at advancing having wrested away home court advantage.
Speaking of wresting away home court advantage, the Pacers did just that yesterday, going into Madison Square Garden and beating down the Knicks. Indiana’s frontcourt physically dominated the Knicks, and it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the series. New York is a jump shooting team, and Indiana gives up very few second shots. If New York isn’t scorching from the perimeter, they are going to have a tough time with Indiana.
Two more series kick off tonight, and both home teams are very heavy favorites. So is there ANY potential for a shocker tonight, or will the Heat and Spurs continue to roll through as the only two unbeaten teams in the postseason? Let’s take a look at tonight’s second game for today’s free pick.
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs -8.5
Golden State is the darling of this year’s postseason and Steph Curry has been brilliant – and immensely fun to watch. But be careful getting seduced by the story and overlooking the facts. The simple fact is that San Antonio is significantly better than the Warriors and has been all season long. Add in the fact they are playing at home, a place where they have not lost to the Warriors since Tim Duncan entered the league. Repeat that – since Tim Duncan entered the LEAGUE! It’s hard to see Golden State breaking nearly a two decade long streak in ineptitude tonight… no matter how badly many fans WANT it to happen.
This is one of the tough traps in sports wagering; the sexy team with momentum takes on the boring, staid old champs… the temptation is to go with flashy and new. I’m going to go with boring and Pop – as in Coach Pop and the San Antonio Spurs. I’d be surprised if this series goes more than five games. Golden State may get one on their home floor – heck, maybe even two in Oracle Arena, but there is no chance they are winning this series.
Sorry TV ratings. The Spurs are here to stay for a while longer…
Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -8.5