Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:45 PM EST.
L.A. Clippers -2½ -110 over DALLAS
9:30 PM EST. So much for the Kawhi Leonard era in Los Angeles, eh? Dude can’t help himself, as it seems he already has one foot out the door after mentioning he "might” play with the Heat next season because he has a "pretty damn good" relationship with Jimmy Butler. Never mind that he’s making almost $35 million this year and has a player option for $36 million next year and has no idea the kind of salary cap hijinx the Heat would have to partake in even if they were interested in a 30-year-old malcontent. Is anyone even talking about the Clippers being down 0-2 with the circus show Kawhi started after Los Angeles's 127-121 loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday night. Media influence is not on the Clippers side here.
L.A. is now going to Dallas after losing back to back home games to start these playoffs and the vultures are circling. You can put lipstick on a pig and Lord knows the Clip Joint has tried over the years with their ownership change, rebranding and free spending, but at the end of the day, they are still the Clippers and with that comes decades of baggage. If it were the Lakers, Warriors or any other marquee squad, the catcalls would not be so loud and the market would not be so fickle. The point is that there is much appeal today in backing the Clip Show spotting a small price on the road when they could not come close to covering spreads of -6 and -7 at home. The reality is, the Clippers did not play that poorly, but that the Mavs shot the lights out. In Game 1, the Mavs shot 47% from 3-point range, the Clippers just 28%. In Game 2, Dallas shot 53% (18-of-34) from 3-point land, while L.A. shot 39% (13-of-33). There's your margins of victory and then some right there. The NBA is a glorified 3-point shooting contest and to the hotter shooting team usually goes the victory.
We do not know if the Clippers will be the hotter team tonight, but we do know that their stock is low and that the media is making things worse than it actually is. The Clippers aren’t likely upset with Kawhi, instead, they’re likely having a good laugh over it. Meanwhile, is it reasonable to expect Dallas to keep up their 50% clip from downtown in this series? The Mavs were a middle of the pack squad in that department during the regular season at 36.6%. Guess who was number one? The Clip Joint. Now with the bad press surrounding them and down 0-2 in the series, the time to buy would be right now.
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L.A. Clippers -2½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)