Can we please, pretty please, please just have ONE REAL game tonight?
That is the question all NBA fans are asking ahead of the second and final regular season matchup between the Spurs and Warriors tonight. The two best teams in the NBA enter tonight winners of a combined thirteen games; eight for the Dubs and five for the Spurs, but with Golden State winning last night over Houston and the quick turnaround (plus the Kerr/Popovich love of playing coy) still casts a little shadow on tonight’s ‘effort.’
Surely, after the last few weekends NBA player rest embarrassment these two titans wouldn’t screw the the fans and the NBA and ESPN (the latter being the likely most influential) again tonight, right? As of press time, everyone with the obvious exception of Kevin Durant, is listed as a-go, so let’s dive in without trepidation and look at the game we have all been waiting to see since November.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs -4.5
The Warriors are the underdog tonight for just the THIRD (and likely FINAL) time this entire season – a feat perhaps as remarkable as their current 67-win pace despite some MAJOR injuries and roster moves. They are also on the backend of a road back to back against the two best non-them teams in the NBA. That’s a TOUGH ask, right?
Well, it is. But I am not betting against the Warriors tonight. I think tonight is a good measuring stick game for the two-time Champs of the West and a nice salvo to fire across the bow of their foremost competitor – “we may not have KD, but we are STILL better – and he’ll likely be back when we see you again. Enjoy Houston in the second round…” The Warriors are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games and have won eight straight games overall. Their streak includes a win over Houston as well as wins over Memphis, OKC, and Milwaukee all by double digits. They are BACK to being the Warriors, and the rest of the league should be worried.
San Antonio enters with some nice mojo as well; winning five straight games including Monday’s impressive thumping of the Cavaliers. And yes, they have won 13 of 14 at home straight up. But they are only 5-10 ATS in their last 15 games and 3-4 ATS in their last seven games.
I am making this pick on the assumption BOTH teams go 100%. If they DO, I think Golden State at full speed, even without KD, are the better squad. I also think Coach Pop has little to no interest in showing much tonight. Kerr may have learned from the master, but Pop is still THE master, and I expect his coyness and reticence to unfurl a full Kawhi-centric defensive scheme to be evident.
Plus, when can you get a fistful of points AND the 60-14 Warriors?
Today’s Pick: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS +4.5