Here's our top NBA pick for tonight's showdown between Clippers & Warriors. Los Angeles has fared a lot better than many people were ready to accept while Golden State has begun to slow down.
The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
Their stars are playing like stars. It’s true that Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan made a very big mistake in Wednesday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, but that one goof-up should not obscure all the work Jordan is doing for his team. Jordan has been an absolute beast on the glass over the past six games. In those six games, Jordan has snagged at least 17 rebounds. That is simply preposterous. Jordan has realized that he needed to carry more of the workload with Griffin on the shelf, and that’s exactly what he’s done. He’s playing the part of an elite center in the Association.
Chris Paul is also carrying himself like an elite player. He scored 36 points Wednesday in Portland against the Trail Blazers, thoroughly outplaying his counterpart, Damian Lillard. If Jordan has been a machine in terms of rebounding, Paul has been the very same thing in terms of assists. Paul has dished out at least 10 assists in his last six games, as the Clippers have managed to win at Memphis and at Chicago, among other places. The Clippers let one slip away against Portland, but they did outplay the Blazers most of the way. No Blake Griffin, no problem – the Clippers look like a team that can contend in the Western Conference. They should also feel they have a shot against a Golden State team which, in the past few weeks, has lost to the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets.
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
NBA Odds are favoring the Warriors by 7.5, as they're the better team, and they’re back at home where they usually dominate opponents. It’s true that Golden State has slowed down a little bit, but only a little. The Warriors are 7-3 in their last 10 instead of the 9-1 which was common for the month of January. However, Golden State just got through one of the toughest parts of an NBA schedule: not a back-to-back set of games, but the dreaded “four games in five nights on the road” gauntlet. Going through that kind of wringer is always tough, but it’s going to be especially tough at this later stage in the season. Golden State came home and got two wins against good teams, Milwaukee and Dallas. The Warriors were okay against Milwaukee, coming back from their extended road swing in the Midwest and the East, but they crushed Dallas and looked like the best team in the NBA while doing so. Playing at home yet again, the Warriors should be very comfortable, and ready to send off the Clippers. One indication that the Warriors have not fallen off too much is that they still have a plus-10 (or better) point differential, at 10.2. That’s outrageously good, and it shows the Warriors are still where they ought to be.
The Warriors have improved as the week has gone on. They should be ready to play at their customarily high level – especially at home. If they do, they’re the best team in basketball, so take them with your NBA picks.
NBA Picks: Golden State -7.5 at BetOnline