If the Clippers lose this game, the first thing you’ll see in the Orange County Register or the LA Times is the same type of headline you saw with Kevin Durant and the Oklahoman. It will have Chris Paul’s face blown up, with something similar to the “unreliable,” label that was unfoundedly given to Durant. However, if Paul loses this series, those kinds of claims are much more warranted than to Durant. If Paul and the Clippers lose here, Paul still will have only escaped the first round of the playoffs once in his career, which is much longer than Durant’s.
This is huge pressure on the Clippers, but the NBA Odds seem to think that the Clippers can overcome the pressure. The odds have LA as a -7 home favorite, with a total of 209 ½. Although I do think the spread could have some value, I see the total as being the most easily exploited NBA Odds of this game.
Now that we have reached Game 7, the defense in this game will be as big as any other in this series, and 209 ½ seems a bit too high for the game we might all watch. Game 3 and Game 6 both went under the total, and another defensive style of game could be in line here in Game 7.
The Sharp Pick
After a horrendous Game 6 in Oakland, Paul will likely bounce back on both ends of the floor. At the very least he will slow down Stephen Curry, who had a bounce back game of his own on Thursday. Curry doesn’t have much riding on his legacy in this game. However, after a win this season, the Warriors have buckled down on the defensive end in their next game. After a SU win this regular and postseason, the Warriors have cashed the 'under' at 28-23-2.
Not only will Paul step up his defense in Game 7, but a guy who basically won the game for the Warriors will too. Draymond Green has been outstanding in this series, and he is playing some huge minutes for this team with Andrew Bogut out. Even though he is a little undersized for his position, he makes up for it with his much-improved shooting from three, and his stellar defense. Green played excellent against Blake Griffin in Game 6, and I expect more of the same in Game 7.
The last two times the total went 'over' in this series was in Games 4 and 5, and both times it barely went over. However in Games 3 and 6, the last two times the total has gone 'under', the final score has been at least 11 or more points lower than the total, cashing the under. In your NBA picks, look for this to be a hard-hitting game, and for the total to go 'under'.
My Winning NBA Pick: 'under' 209 ½