Today we got a big card and a lot of really big games, that will determine a lot for the teams and I will focus on few of them.
Milwaukee Bucks – San Antonio Spurs
Popovich was furious after the loss in New York last night to the last place in the league, the awful Knicks.
“We didn’t respect the game,” he said. “We didn’t respect our opponent. It was a pathetic performance, and I hope every player is embarrassed. Not because we’re supposed to win the game, quote unquote, but it’s about how you play the game.”
Spurs usually respond well to Pop ripping them apart and it’s not like they got nothing to play for. Since the end of February, Spurs were the hottest team in the West, together with Utah and despite losing to Cleveland, they played really well and this is the first true let down game for them during that stretch and it’s not like they got nothing to play for.
With last night’s loss, they fell one game behind Dallas and Clippers in the battle for the 5th spot and more important, they are trailing by 3.5 games behind Portland who are third place and lead by 4.5 games ahead of Oklahoma who are in the 9th place that means sitting out the playoffs altogether.
I know that we 14 – 16 games till the end of the season, it’s most likely Spurs will finish between 5 – 7 places in the West, but bad streak can put that in question, while making a good run can have a nice reward, not to mention that Pop would like to secure playoff seed to give his aging stars some rest.
Those are the exact games that should create a separation for the Spurs from the 8-9th seeds and help them create a threat at HCA in the playoffs.
Spurs have to play Dallas twice, Houston twice, NO, Thunder, Atlanta on the road and also Golden State and Memphis at home. Spurs really need to be careful, otherwise they will have to find themselves playing deep in to April, still fighting for playoff spot and that’s bad news for them.
Lucky for them, they got very comfortable rival for them.
Bucks in free fall, losing 8 of their last 10 games. Giving up Knight to get MCW and Plumlee meant that the team is dumping their best scorer and leader of the team, in favor of the future. It may be a smart move long term, but death blow in short term. Bucks went from dark horse of the East and one of the biggest surprise stories this season to just another team fighting in the East, trying to survive.
Question marks around Dudley and Bayless participation tonight, don’t help the case of the Bucks as well.
Since ASG, in Spurs games, the team that won the game, covered the line as well and that adds to the confidence as far as laying points with the Spurs.
Spurs -4.5, 1.95 odds – 7 units play – Pinnacle
Miami Heat – Portland Trailblazers
Few things we have to take in to account for this game tonight.
Heat are 1 – 10 ATS and SU, in games, after an upset win.
To make things worse, teams that play off an upset win against Cleveland at home, are 1 – 7 ATS.
If you combine the two stats, you know that this game was lost, the moment Heat won against the Cavs. I’m kidding of course, but both stats are hard to ignore.
Heat won once against Cleveland already at home, as an underdog and played at home next, against Memphis, as 3 points dogs, just like tonight and lost both SU and ATS.
It’s hard for Wade to deliver two huge games in a row and the game against Cleveland was as big as it gets for the Heat.
Portland off a loss, Heat off a win and that also an indicator that things should even up a bit I believe.
Huge game for both teams, as Heat are 8th in the East, tied with places 7 and 9 and one game ahead of the 10th place, but Portland has a lot riding on as well, tied with Houston for the 3-4 places and trailing only 1.5 games behind Memphis who are second in the West and just 2.5 games ahead of Dallas, who are in the 6th place. A loss tonight and the lead can be only 1.5 games and that spells trouble for the Blazers.
Teams met 2 months ago and Blazers easily won by 16 points in Portland. Since than, Portland lost Matthews and got Afflalo, while Heat lost Bosh, but got Dragic – still, can’t see any reason why Portland would lose this one.
My line here is -4.5 points.
Portland -2.5, 1.97 odds – 7 units play – Pinnacle
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Best of luck everybody!!!