GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Luv: 118-92 ats…56%
NBA 77-69 - NCAA 33-19 - Teasers 8-4 - Church League 69-0]
After absolutely dominating the NBA Playoff docket this weekend like the sexy CJ Miles dominated this workout video, I arose with more handicapping confidence than Sam "Ace" Rothstein in his prime and quickly picked two winners with hesitation. That’s right Homeboys, just like Ronny Mexico at a dog show, I was licking my chops when I saw these two lines in the paper this morning. So without further ado, let’s see if we can give Vegas two more reasons not to allow Insideplays.com to be viewed in their casinos.
DALLAS MAVERICKS @ SAN ANTONIO SPURS (UNDA 190)
In Saturday’s home-loss to the Mavs, the Spurs allowed the Mavs to score too much in transition and couldn’t keep pace as the second half wore on. And considering the Spurs were 11-14 from behind the arc and still lost, you know Coach Pops will ensure his vets slow the temp and make this a possession by possession battle.
The Spurs halfcourt defense is unbelievably disciplined and can absolutely demoralize a team that doesn’t offensive rebound very well like the Mavs. J-Kidd doesn’t provide much of a threat in the half-court and the Jet (Jason Terry) thrives off pull-up jumpers on the break, so look for the Spurs to pound the ball inside and keep the long rebounds from initiating the Mavs transition game. Especially with the methodical ability of Timmy D & Tony Longoria to pick-n-roll numerous times on each possession, don’t be surprised when the Spurs turn tonight’s contest into an absolute bore.
And in my opinion, the biggest killer for the Spurs on Saturday was the play of the lil Puerto Rican Energizer Bunny Jose Juan Barea (13 pts in 26 min) as the SA backcourt lost track of him on the break. And trust me, that will not happen again. The Spurs are too savvy to let the Mavs control the tempo again tonight so look for Mr. Longoria to walk it up the hardwood for at least 80% of their possessions. And especially in front of a home-crowd that loves when their veterans completely bore the nation, watch as the Spurs pull off a close victory even as they barely scratch 90 points…SPURS/MAVS TOTAL 172-180 PTS
CHICAGO BULLS @ BOSTON CLETICS (-8)
The reason most casual fans hate the NBA is the same reason why I love to invest on the professional hardwood. In the playoffs, veteran stars know how to get to the charity stripe…especially at home. And considering Paulie “oddly-shaped” Pierce seemed a little unenthused in the first half and was given plenty of criticism in the media for his uninspired start to the playoffs, look for the former Jayhawk to force this issue from the onset tonight.
In addition, Ray-Ray Shuttlesworth was...TOUCH ME HERE
In addition, Ray-Ray Shuttlesworth was absolutely awful in Game One (1-12 FGs, 4 pts) and got plenty of good looks with the undersized Ben Gordon guarding him most of the contest, so look for the sweet-shooting guard to bounce back with a huge night. On the inside, while neither team looks to drop the ball underneath, Glen Davis & Leon Powe are both excellent at drawing contact (10-14 FT line – Noah & Thomas 1-2 FT line), while Kendrick Perkins showed an ability to overpower the Bulls frontcourt around the basket (7-11 FGs).
While D-Rose was an absolute star on Saturday, look for Doc to aggressively double the youngster and force the ball out of his hands. Especially with Salmons inability to cut with any authority because of a bad-groin, I’m guessing Ben Gordon has to have a light’s out performance from the perimeter to keep the Bulls in it tonight. And while he always has the potential to look automatic on the catch-n-shoot, for some reason I have a feeling he’s gonna struggle with the added intensity you see in the Garden tonight. As a result, Celts jump out early and put the peddle to the metal before Vinny Del Scott Baio’s boys know what hit 'em…CELTS BY 14-20 PTS