The Last Nail

3/31/14 in NBA   |   pigskinfan   |   65 respect

You have to tip your cap to the Knicks.  They held on for the win last night in Oakland in what was a very strange game.  The Warriors jumped on New York early and had a 10-point lead after the 1st quarter.  Then Golden State went ice cold, the Knicks took advantage and outscored the Warriors, 34-12, in the 2nd quarter for a 12-point halftime edge.  As we've seen many times before this season, things started to turn against the Knicks in the 2nd half.  They were starting to leak oil, especially in the 4th quarter, but every time they gave the Warriors a chance to drive nails into the coffin, Golden State couldn't get it done.  It really was pretty disgusting, but it's something we definitely want to file away.

The Warriors are in that mix at the bottom of the west playoff contenders.  Right now, they're sitting in the 6th spot, but that's tenuous with the Mavs, Suns, and Griz in hot pursuit.  Games like the Warriors played last night have been all too common for this team this season.  They had that one run in December when they ripped off 10 straight wins, but without that, they probably are on the outside looking in and scrambling to be relevant.  The Warriors are just not as good as they were last year, and if they aren't careful, they could end up drawing the Spurs in the 1st round. 

As it is now, the stand to go against the Clips, and that could be a good series.  The Clips can be a little tempremental at times, so I would expect the Warriors could probably steal a game or 2 against them.  When it comes to the Spurs or the Thunder, I'm not sure the Warriors wouldn't get swept away.  Of course, it's always interesting to watch how things unfold at this point in the season with teams trying to jockey for playoff positioning.  And as we've seen in The Madness, sometimes seeding makes all the difference.  It's no different in The Association.

The bottom line is we're starting from out of a hole for the month, but why worry?  Baseball is back, and there's lots of time left in April to get right.  Here we go!

THE NBA  (8-0 ATS/5-3 SU/4-4 TOTALS yesterday)

BUTTA  (1-1 yesterday)
1.  Heat (-240) over RAPTORS - The Champs have looked like a team on a mission since their loss in Indy last week, and the Dinos have got to be a little tired as this will be their 5th game in 7 nights.
2.  BOBCATS (-3) over Wizards - Had the Knicks lost last night, the Wiz would have clinched a playoff spot.  That means a win for Washington tonight will get the job done, but I don't see that happening against a 'Cats squad that has really turned their building into a serious home court advantage.
Wizards   97 Spurs (-4, O188) 101
BOBCATS (-3. O194) 107 PACERS   92
76ers   95 Bucks   96
HAWKS (-12 1/2, U211 1/2) 115 PISTONS (-6 1/2, U206) 109
Raptors (+5 1/2, O192 1/2)   97 Celtics   85
HEAT   99 BULLS (-9 1/2, U184 1/2)   96
Clippers 112 Kings   95
WOLVES (+3 1/2, O215 1/2) 113 PELICANS (-3 1/2, U199) 101
Grizzlies 105 Knicks (-4, U193 1/2)   99
NUGGETS (+4 1/2, O200 1/2) 107 JAZZ   93

---If there's a team and situation that can stop the Spurs streak right now, it should be the Pacers at home, but Indy is leaking oil a bit right now.  Maybe the pressure of sitting on top of the east is getting to them a little bit.
---Clips will be without Griffin tonight, and that could be an issue for them against the free-wheeling Wolves.  MInny is on the b2b though, and that has been big trouble for them this season (4-13 SU).
---The Griz have the toughest ticket in the league tonight in closing a b2b in Denver.  The Nuggets aren't going anywhere, but they have been playing much better.  And off a loss in Portland last night, the Griz are in 9th in the conference and probably a little desperate.  Desperate teams aren't always a good way to go.
---Maybe the 2nd toughest ticket in the league is having to close a b2b in Utah.  That's what the Knicks face tonight.  It's also New York's 5th game in 7 nights, but that's still not enough to make me want to think about the Jazz.

The CBI Tournament fills the void of The Madness for tonight.  It is a unique situation as we're down to the final 2 teams, but to be champion, one team is going to have to win 2 out of 3 games.

BUTTA  (0-1 yesterday)
PARLAY:  FRESNO ST. (-450) over Siena and BULLS (-550) over Celtics - I'm "cross-pollenating" with this play.  It will go into the college side of the ledger because the Fresno game won't be over till well after the Bulls game.  For Fresno, the key is that they're at home. Siena is, of course, an east coast squad, but this will also be their first road game in this tournament.  The Saints are a very good home team, as we've seen, but things drop off dramatically for them when they hit the road.  And having to go all the way across country won't help them either.  The Bulls are wrapping up the home and home with the Celts tonight.  Chicago was (-5) in Boston yesterday and fell right on the number.  Tonight, they're (-9 1/2) at home against the same team.  I'm not wanting to go that extra 4 1/2, but the Celts really struggle in road game b2b closers, so I fully expect the Bulls will wear them down again.
Siena 56                                                
FRESNO ST. (-8, U138)                     69                                                     

A heartbreaker for the Royals today as they drop one in the last of the 9th in Detroit this afternoon.  No worries.  It's going to be a real dogfight all season long.  Now, I get to switch over and watch the Redbirds in Cincinnati.  Life is good.  Have a great night.  I'll see you tomorrow.
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