A nice 6-3 bounce back night after going 0-2 over the previous couple of nights, bringing the overall NBA record above 500, at 10-9. I made 3 picks on the Lakers that all hit, as they dominated the Blazers from start to finish. The Lakers are just playing great basketball. They remind me of when Kobe had Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom. The Lakers have so much size and length it is insane. They are on a collision course with the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals, which would be one of the more highly anticipated playoff series in recent memory. The Clippers did get blown out last night against the Bucks, but they were down a couple of rotation players, to be fair. Here is a look at what I got right and what I got wrong last night.
MAGIC 1st QUARTER -1—LOSS
MAGIC 1ST HALF -2—WIN
WARRIORS +5—WIN: The Warriors played the Chicago Bulls in this one and let me tell you, there are not many teams in the NBA that I would favor the Bulls over, whether it’s home or away. The Warriors ended up winning this game straight up by 2 points, as Zach Lavine missed a game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
MIAMI 1ST QUARTER -3.5—LOSS
MIAMI UNDER 230—WIN: My first over/under of the NBA season was a success. It is always scary picking an under when one of the teams playing is the Washington Wizards, since they legitimately are the worst defensive team I have ever witnessed. But Miami is no slouch and the fact that the Wizards were on the second night of a back-to-back and were without Isaiah Thomas, Jordan McRae, Thomas Bryant, CJ Miles, and Ian Mahinmi… it is just difficult when you don’t have a ton of bodies to work with. On a positive note for the Wizards, rookie forward, Rui Hachimura, continues to impress, and could very well win the Rookie of the Year award if he keeps it up. He is going to get all the minutes he can ask for, and should continue to put up some solid numbers assuming he stays healthy. The Wizards are still a mess due to the John Wall injury and now a few others being sidelined for multiple weeks, but this team has shown some fight, and that is pretty much all you can ask for from them considering the context of their situation.
CLIPPERS +4.5—LOSS: The Bucks were not messing around in this one. Total domination. The Clippers will be better than they were last night, considering they were without a couple rotation players, but I did not expect them to get run out of the building like this.
LAKERS 1ST QUARTER -1—WIN
LAKERS 1ST HALF -2—WIN
I’m probably going to ride the Lakers until the wheels fall off at this point. They are kicking some serious ass. The team is playing together and there appears to be minimal drama, at least so far. Winning obviously makes everybody happy, and the Lakers had no problems winning vs the Blazers to stay undefeated on the road. I’ll say this about the Blazers, if you are relying on Carmelo Anthony in the year 2019 to be one of your leading scorers, your team is not going to be very good. I LOVE Damian Lillard, for what it’s worth. I love his game. But this Blazers team just hasn’t been fully healthy all season, and to make matters worse, they lost one of their starters last night for the season in Rodney Hood. Hood suffered a torn achilles tendon, a devastating blow for a Portland squad that has already been without their starting center all season in Jusif Nurkic, and have been missing Zach Collins since early in the season. The loss of Hood means Kent Bazemore will probably be inserted into the starting lineup, which isn’t the worst replacement you could find, but it really hurts the depth of this Blazers team, and I’m not sure they will have enough to make a playoff run this season without their front office pulling off some type of major trade.
NBA RECORD TO DATE: 10-9