GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Picks: 97-77 ats…56%
NBA 63-57 - NCAA 27-16 - Teasers 7-4 - Church League 69-0
...but don't worry Blake, just like Aleida Nunez, you'll have plenty more brilliant nights at the next level!
With an undefeated weekend on the NCAA ATS-docket (Saturday luv and Sunday luv), I was a more depressed than Heather Locklear looking back on her love life with the Big Dance action on break. While the eight other loser tournaments have a couple games tonight, I don’t trust my research when I don’t know how depressed these kids got watching the real tourney action from their sofa all weekend. As a result, I’m only hitting up a couple gems in the Association, but first, let me give you a few quick thoughts on what I’ve seen thus far.
I’M NOT IN LUV WITH L’VILLE BUT THEIR BRACKET’S A BREEZE
For all the hype and so-called gurus calling the Cardinals the favorite, I’ve just seen too many games this season where they’ve struggled to shoot from deep...and keep shooting. While their defensive pressure is Ali Larter in a Whip Cream Bikini-awesome and they can run-n-gun with anybody, if they didn’t have such a cakewalk to the Final Four, I definitely believe someone would’ve bounced them before getting to Detroit...but now, I can't see how they don't!
WHILE HE’S BEEN AWESOME…HE'S STILL A PUNK
I was actually praying to see Syracuse lose in the first round of the Big East tourney with the outside chance it would put an end to Eric Devendork’s career. But props to the annoying kid as he’s been awesome and helped to make the Orange as dangerous as anybody left. Led by future NBA starting PG Jonny Flynn, two workhorses with great hoops IQs (Paul Harris & Andy Rautins), and a bunch of long frontcourt bangers that perfectly fit into Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, I have a feeling I’ll be seeing Devendork glaring like a gangster past Friday cause they’re beating Blake Griffin and the Sooners.
While I have plenty more thoughts on the tourney action Homeboys, I'm pulling a Tila Tequila Tease and making you check back all week to see what other crazy shiznit I can get brewing
CHICAGO BULLS (-6) @ WASHINGTON BULLETS
Holy what-Najah-Davenport-did-in-a-chick's-closet!...the Bulls are actually playing with some consistency and not complaining about their headmaster to the media. While just a month ago Vinny Del Scott Baio’s squad would beat an elite team only to get blown-out the next night by a bottom-feeder, Chicago had won three straight (New Orleans, Boston, and at Oklahoma City) and were beating the LakeShow late in the 4th Saturday before Kobe & Co. caught fire. And with the playoff race in its final stages, I actually expect them to raise their play as the chemistry from trade deadline acquisitions continues to improve.
The biggest reason for their recent success has been the steady play & professionalism of three veterans. In the backcourt, Capt Kirk’s return from some mid-season injuries has provided Coach Baio some flexibility by spelling D-Rose or lil Ben when their D becomes lackadaisical. On the wing, after a few weeks to get comfortable, John Salmons has become an elite scorer, while providing better defense and a more aggressive style than Luol “soft-azz Deng. And in the frontcourt, Brad Miller has been a wonderful influence on T-Time & Noah, while also spacing the floor & playing some pick-n-pop with the NBA’s rookie of the year. Throw-in the positive vibe the newcomers have brought to the table simply from their departure from the Sucktown Kings, and the Bulls could scare some of the elite teams in the East come playoff time!
As for the Bullets, like Pamela on a boat with a rockstar, the really f*cking blow! Especially with the grind of the season starting to take its toll, teams out of contention and not sporting many energetic youngsters can find themselves just going through the motions to close out the year…(i.e. the Pamela on boat Wiz). In addition, Washington is returning from a four games in five nights out West, and as I’ve told you before, the first home game after a long trip is usually a disaster as the players are tired and forced to deal with wives, kids, groupies, & stacks of bills. Throw-in that Caron Butler (quest.) hasn’t played in their last five and Mr. Jamison can’t be too fresh after trying to carry the squad and playing almost 40 min. a night, and I’m expecting the Bulls to jump out early tonight!
And finally, looking at a couple match-ups, the lighting fast and recently hot D-Rose will be facing the defensively-challenged 33 year-old Mike James (38-fg%) & back-up Javaris Crittenton, while on-fire John Salmons (last 4 games: 28 ppg 57-3pt%) will be shadowed by a PF playing SF in Dominic McGuire or a rusty Mr. Butler. The injury bug is so bad for interim coach Ed Tapscott, in their 32-point loss to Phoenix Saturday he was forced to start two centers (Songalia & Blatche), two PFs (Jamison & McGuire), and the journeyman James at the point. Throw-in that this exhausted crew will be playing in-front of only seven fans tonight, and I can’t see how the playoff hopeful Bulls don’t destroy the Wiz…BULLS BY 14-20 POINTS
GREG GAMBLE’S NBA TEASER SPECTACULAR
CHICAGO BULLS (teased -2) @ THE WIZ
ORLANDO MAGIC (teased -2) @ NEW YORK KNICKS
ORLANDO MAGIC (teased -2) @ NEW YORK KNICKS
I know the Magic just played the undermanned Knickerbockers in Orlando Saturday and only won by seven, but trust me, playing in The Garden will have them even more psyched-up for tonight. Especially with Dwight Howard looking to bounce back after dealing with foul-trouble all night and attempting only seven shots, look for the beast to absolutely destroy a tiny Knicks frontcourt that’s dealing with David Lee’s bad-back (probable). And finally, while Spike Lee hanging in building should provide a spark for Orlando, the biggest reason Stan the Hedgehog's squad will be focused tonight is because their only a game behind Boston for the #2 seed…THE MAGIC BY 7-12 PTS