It's hard to fathom how the Bucks could blow a 19-point 2nd half lead last night. It was also hard to take. All we really have to do to try to understand, though, would be to look at the Thunder's game last night as well. With that latter game looking like it was sure to fly over the posted TOTAL at halftime, the Kings hit a wall coming out after the break and went ice cold on offense. Of course, the Thunder pounced and took full advantage by building a big lead for themselves, and when the 4th quarter rolled around, OkC brought the game to a grinding halt. They slowed things way down, and in all but a few very rare situations, they didn't take a shot till after the shot clock had ticked down well below 10 seconds.
The Thunder were patient with their game in protecting a big lead. The Bucks were not. Even with a big margin in their favor, Milwaukee was out there in the 3rd quarter pushing the tempo and hoisting up long balls like they had a quota they had to meet for attempts, and all were done very early in the shot clock. As has been said many times in the past: "If you live by the 3, you're going to die by the 3." And that's exactly what happened to the Bucks. They died, and that, my friends, is the difference between a team chasing an NBA championship and one that will more than likely just be cannon fodder when it comes to playoff time.
THE NBA (6-4 last night and 25-16 so far for the week)
SU WINNERS (5-4 last night and 21-18 so far for the week)
RAPTORS, Knicks, WIZARDS, BOBCATS, ROCKETS, BUCKS, SPURS, NUGGETS, JAZZ and BLAZERS
TOTALS (5-5 last night and 23-18 so far for the week)
OVERS - Cavs/RAPTORS (196 1/2), Bulls/WIZARDS (184 1/2), Wolves/BOBCATS (193), Warriors/BUCKS (206) and Kings/NUGGETS (211)
UNDERS - Knicks/76ERS (192 1/2), Nets/ROCKETS (201), Suns/SPURS (199), Pacers/JAZZ (183) and Clippers/BLAZERS (191)
BUTTA (1-2 last night and 3-4 so far for the week)
Knicks (-3) over 76ERS - The Knicks have some holes, but they also have a ton more offensive firepower than the Sixers too. Philly needs to keep this game in the 80s to have a chance, but I don't think they're good enough to be able to do that. Knicks 95, 76ERS 86
ALL THE REST
1. RAPTORS (-5 1/2) over Cavs - The danger here would be to get too excited over the Cavs big comeback last night. Cleveland has been a horrid team on the back end of b2b's though, going only 1-8 in those situations when on the road so far this season. RAPTORS 112, Cavs 99
2. WIZARDS (-1 1/2) over Bulls - Trust me. I've not fallen in love with the Wiz. Both teams are closing a b2b here, but I do think the Wiz have the edge because they didn't have to travel last night, and they have the younger legs. WIZARDS 103, Bulls 94
3. BOBCATS (-3) over Wolves - There's just no percentage in getting involved with either of these teams. BOBCATS 104, Wolves 100
4. Nets (+3) at ROCKETS - This game might end up being the perfect example of my tried and true staple: One good game doesn't end a slump any more than one bad game cools a hot streak. ROCKETS 101, Nets 100
5. BUCKS (-2) over Warriors - I don't know how the Bucks bounce back so quickly from last night's debacle to be able to hold up here. I've got interesting trending data to use here that makes the case for the Warriors, but as of right now, I'm not going to pull it out to go against my stats for this game unless I decide to move on it. BUCKS 114, Warriors 101
6. SPURS (-9) over Suns - The Suns have played some feisty ball, but they'll find out something about themselves tonight that I've known all season long. They just aren't that good. SPURS 98, Suns 77
7. Kings (+12 1/2) at NUGGETS - I can't trust the Kings to keep things within this number, especially when they're on the road, but I also can't go against principles and lay doubles either even though it would probably be fitting to do so. NUGGETS 113, Kings 103
8. JAZZ (-2) over Pacers - I really don't know what's at the heart of this Jazz squad, but maybe I start to find out tonight. What I really want to see is if there's any "shame" for letting the "lowly" Lakers punk them out last night. JAZZ 92, Pacers 81
9. BLAZERS (-1 1/2) over Clippers - The Blazers have shown so far this season that they want to try and get out and run on offense. I think that's a bad idea against the Clips. The way to beat the Clips is to slow them down and make them run half court sets on offense. When it all boils down, the Clips are the better team top to bottom, but they really haven't played like it without CP3. He won't be playing again tonight, so expect another grinder of a game for the Clips. BLAZERS 99, Clippers 92
COLLEGE HOOPS (1-0 ATS, 1-0 SU & 1-0 TOTALS so far for the week)
No plays to make here yet, but we're getting closer.
1. Fla.-Atlantic (+10, U123) at ARKANSAS ST. - RED WOLVES 61, Owls 53
2. N. TEXAS (-3, O133) over Ark.-Little Rock - MEAN GREEN 73, Trojans 61
3. Texas St. (+7 1/2, U157) at SEATTLE - Bobcats 69, REDHAWKS 69
4. La. Tech (-2, O136) over UTAH ST. - Bulldogs 74, AGGIES 61
It's all the news that's fit to print, and it is done for the day. Have a great night, be careful out there and I'll see you tomorrow.