May 2, 2015 (Posted at 6:00 PM ET)
Tonight's pick is a 2% wager.
Sunday's selections will be posted at 11:00 AM ET.
Take the UNDER 204 total points in SA Spurs vs. LA Clippers risking 2% of the bankroll.
The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers will face each other one last time tonight in a Game 7 series finale. It's a win or go home situation for both teams, which no doubt increases the pressure and the drama on its own, no matter the participants or any other circumstances. In this case, however, there's a lot more at stake for both teams than simply the chance to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The future of both franchises could be seriously affected by the result of a single game. Not only will one of the best teams in the league see its season end tonight but there could also be serious repercussions in the future of the losing franchise.
If the Spurs get past LA, we'll be ensured at least four more games from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. If they don't, both or either could retire having played their last series. Even without speculating about retirements, the Spurs are facing a potentially franchise-altering summer. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Marco Belinelli, Cory Joseph, Aron Baynes, Matt Bonner, Jeff Ayres and Reggie Williams are all entering free agency. If Duncan and Manu want to return the Spurs will have them back. Leonard is expected to be signed to a max contract by San Antonio, so he should be safe. Everybody else, though, could leave the team as it transitions into the Leonard era. A loss would also make San Antonio a much less appealing destination in free agency. LaMarcus Aldridge is rumored to be interested but if the Spurs lose so early, and with Duncan, Green and Ginobili potentially not on the roster next season, he could decide joining Leonard and Parker would be risky.
For the Clippers, there will be an urgency, justified or not, to make changes after a potential first round exit. The Clippers have cashed in all their chips getting this team together with this coach at the helm and don't have cap space or a lot of assets to change their roster via trade. That leaves letting their own free agents go as the only option for an overhaul. A loss could also mean the end of DeAndre Jordan's tenure with the Clippers. Jordan will become an unrestricted free agent and will likely get maximum offers from several teams. Los Angeles can offer more money but a different franchise can tempt him with a bigger role, like the one he experienced earlier this year with Griffin out with injury. Jordan has flirted with the possibility of leaving the team that drafted him before when he signed an offer with the Warriors when he was a restricted free agent that the Clippers ultimately matched.
The pressure to win this game is enormous; there is no doubt about that. Simply playing in a Game 7 is pressure enough, but with all of the pressures and unknowns that could come from a loss for both teams, we believe nerves and emotion will likely play a big part in the series finale. Anxiety often has a huge impact on the offensive side of the basketball. Players become hesitant, nervous and often times over-think their shot selection which leads to more empty possessions. Nerves in the early going of this game could have a major impact on the final score line and help to keep this game just Under the posted total.
Let's not forget that this is Game 7 and both of these teams have been through a battle. This has been an extremely closely contested series that has been won in the 4th quarter by both teams. This is also both teams 3rd game in just 5 nights. Fatigue certainly has to be a concern for both teams, especially the Clippers. Greg Poppovich has done a great job at assembling an incredibly deep bench and he often rotates players in and out, always keeping fresh legs on the floor. San Antonio has led the league in average bench minutes seven times in the last decade, and has not ranked outside the top 10 since the 2004 season. In this series, the Spurs bench has annihilated the Clippers’ second unit, outscoring them 217-134 for the series and 96-32 in the last two games alone. A big reason for that is Doc Rivers’ reserves play the fewest minutes of any in the league at just 15.3 minutes per game and rank in the bottom 10 in points (29.9), rebounds (10), assists (5.7) and field goal percentage (40.9%). While this will likely give the Spurs an edge in terms of the matchup itself, for the Total, the fact that Doc Rivers will likely have to rely much more on his bench in this game due to the fatigue factor could certainly have an impact on the final score of this contest. While the Spurs bench has proven productive, this season however the scoring production of theirs has taken a severe decline.
While many would like nothing more than to see an offensive shootout in a Game 7, we believe that both teams will be more focused on playing fundamental basketball in this contest, which is playing solid defense, protecting the basketball and using a majority of the shot clock. While an offensive shootout is always a possibility with these two teams, we do feel that is this game can avoid an unlucky trip to overtime that this total is just a couple of baskets too high and should fall just Under the total.
Other notable facts to consider:
- The total has gone Under in 8 of Clippers' last 12 games!
- The Under is 10-4 in Clippers last 14 home games.
- 24 of 39 games played in Los Angeles in this series have gone Under the Total since 1996!
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