GREG GAMBLE’S 2008-09 HARDWOOD Luv: 121-93 ats…56%
NBA 80-70 - NCAA 33-19 - Teasers 8-4 - Church League 69-0
As a diehard Chicagoan, I can't tell you how excited I'll be tonight to crack a Labatt's Max Ice, dump out some Chili Cheese Fritos, and lay on my white-tiger rug to watch Hotel Erotica: Up All Night on Cinemax. And making my viewing pleasure even sweeter, on the undercard we have the streaky-young Bulls against the somewhat out-of-shape defending Champs at the United Center. And especially considering neither team has played much defense of yet, I expect another shoot-out and more crazy antics from Chicago's childish frontcourt. As for my prediction, you’ll have to wait till after I give you my Five-Star Lock of the Night Homeboys!
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (+4.5) @ DALLAS MAVERICKS
While the Spurs limped into the playoffs looking like Nautica Thorn after a DP feature, it’s amazing how much confidence they seemed to gain as Game 2 wore on. As predicted by yours truly, without anybody on the Cubans to remotely guard Tony Longoria, Coach Pops simplified his offense to the frenchman dribbling around until he found a crease or rubbing of Timmy D on the pick-n-roll/pop. And as we witnessed, the Mavs have absolutely no answer to prevent his penetration or protect the basket once he’s in the paint. Throw-in the unbelievable spacing from San Antone’s plethora of long-range bombers, and I don’t see how Dallas can prevent another torching at the defensive end.
And making matters worse for the Mavs, Erick Dampier’s dumb-azz comments that he's gonna knock Mr. Longoria on his azz every time he’s inside means Coach Jim Carrey’s only legitimate defensive big will be in foul trouble by the 2nd quarter. Seriously, considering the refs usually call things loser than Pamela’s batcave in the post-season, Damp could’ve probably gotten away with a couple and avoided a flagrant…but now, with the zebras on notice, either NBDL-quality center Ryan Hollins will be playing way too many minutes or Dampier is gonna be extra careful and allow too many easy buckets.
While the Mavs have plenty of offensive weapons themselves, the Spurs learned after Game One they needed to slow the pace so J-Kidd, J-Terry, J-Howard, Dirk, & JJ Barera didn’t kill them in transition. Considering Kidd is virtually useless and Josh “Smokey, Drinky, I hate USA” Howard still seems a little out of synch in the half-court, only the German Diggler and the occasional kick-out to the Jett should scare the veteran Spurs. And with the great Pops game-planning to prevent the few options they have left, I fully expect the Spurs to control this contest from start to finish…SAN ANTONIO by 4-8 PTS