The Western Conference Finals were FAR from the boring series that many, including Vegas, thought might be coming our way. Golden State needed to pull out one of the largest comebacks in NBA Conference Finals history to escape with a two-point home win after trailing by 25 in the second half and avoid dropping the first game of the series. Adding in the fact that the comeback coincided very nicely with the injury to Kawhi Leonard, and it FEELS like the Warriors were pretty lucky to escape. San Antonio dominated them for two and a half quarters with Kawhi on the court, and watching him painfully leave the court last night, it is hard to see him being ready to go tomorrow.
If they had JUST held on, the Spurs could have rested Kawhi happily on Tuesday, content leaving town with a split, and gotten a full week for Kawhi to be nursed back to health (Game Three is Saturday, four days later). But with the comeback for the ages and Kawhi’s ankle, might Game One wind up being just a small blip on the Warriors championship season??
We have bigger things to deal with in the here and now – GAME SEVEN between the Wizards and Celtics tonight. The home team has won all six games in this series and home teams have won over 80% of Game Seven’s in NBA history. Is there any reason to go any other way tonight?? Each team HAS NEARLY beaten the other on their home floor, but has come up a play short. The other four have been double digit easy covers.
Who is going to advance to play the comfortably resting Cavs??
Today’s NBA Pick:
Game Seven – Eastern Conference Semifinals
Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics -5.5
At this point, we all know how these two teams dislike each other, we know where they have the relative matchup strengths and weaknesses and we know how the home court has reigned supreme. The home team is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS (the Celtics ended up covering Game Two in overtime, so a little misleading) this season and both teams are much better at home than they are on the road. Including the playoffs, the Wiz are 37-11 and the Celtics are 35-13 at home this season.
We have already seen one home team LOSE a Game Seven in the NBA Playoffs, but that was a Clippers team without their second best player. Both teams are healthy tonight, so you have to start from a vantage point of: Advantage Celtics.
The Wizards are 0-8 SU and 0-8 ATS in their last eight road games (again, the Game Two blown game with the two missed regulation buzzer-beaters was technically an ATS loss). That’s a pretty daunting stat to say the least.
To say tonight is a conservative play is an understatement. In the regular season, no way I touch this game. Boston is at home, and favored by an appropriate number. They SHOULD win the game. But in Game Seven, I am going to go with the best players making plays. I think the switch flipped for John Wall in this postseason and that he has been the best player in this series, despite the heroics and more attention-garnering play of Isaiah Thomas. I think Wall can keep the Wizards in the game tonight.
Boston has gotten really good shooting from Avery Bradley and Al Horford. I think Bradley Beal and the Gortat/Morris combo is a safer bet, even on the road.
If Boston’s role players like Crowder and Bradley drain shots tonight, this pick backfires in a major way. But if they do not, the Wiz have a real shot to steal this thing. I like a good game tonight, and in a tight game, it is nice to have the underdog’s points. I’ll take Washington on a gutsy lean tonight.
Today’s NBA Pick: WASHINGTON WIZARDS +5.5