Frosted lucky Bulls. That game was magically delicious.
No amount of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, blue diamonds, OR even purple horseshoes can explain how Chicago managed to come from behind to defeat the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 this afternoon to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Trailing the Nets by twelve points with less than four minutes left in regulation, I was ready to begin drafting my Eating Crow afternoon edition of TSZ for both picking the Bulls and predicting a a low-scoring affair. Not only had Chicago's defense had been sub-par up to that point, but the Nets were extending and finishing plays with offensive boards, 50-50 plays, and shot-clock-expiring-three-point-prayers-by-seven-footers. The series appeared destined to head back east knotted at two until...
The notorious former Huskie, Knick, Celtic, Thunder, and Warrior Nate "The Black Leprechaun" Robinson appeared out of nowhere and said, "Did I hear somebody's trying to steal me lucky charms?
He then proceeded to rip off his old Celtics jersey and score 12 of the Bulls final 16 points in the quarter, firing up the United Center crowd, and helping Chicago send the game into overtime
"Suck my blarney stones, bitches."
And then another overtime...
"O' be jaysus - someone put on the Cranberries because this loss is gonna linger."
And another overtime - although he was technically fouled out by then - and the Bulls finally closed the deal with a spread covering 142-134 victory.
The next two games weren't nearly as interesting, with Memphis closing and covering late against the Clippers and the Pacers handing us our first Top Confident Pick loss in several days. The finale, however, turned today's schedule into a crap sandwich on an amazing, rustic, 9-grain, artisan bread when the Rockets came back from 27 down, almost won, but still managed to cover the three and a half point line. Thanks to said 3-1 ATS sandwich, our current stats are as follows:
POST-SEASON RECORD TO DATE: 16-10 ATS
CONFIDENCE EFFICIENCY RATING: 35/57 or .61
TOP CONFIDENCE PICKS THROUGH DAY 8: 6-2 ATS
At this point in the first round series, Marco and I begin to look at which team we think is going to win, when we think they're going to do it, and we work backwards from there.
Miami Heat (-8.5) over MILWAUKEE BUCKS: From the outset we believed Miami would sweep this series. After that it became a matter of which games they would and would not cover - and while they've managed to cover two of three, we've managed to correctly predict all three outcomes. As hard as Milwaukee fights, Miami we defend harder. This game comes down to experience, and the defending champs know the advantage of extended rest this time of year and will do everything it takes to earn it.
Confidence Rating: 4
"C'mon Monta - we don't play defense in the woods either."
San Antonio Spurs (-10.5) over LOS ANGELES LAKERS: We did not think this series was going to be a sweep, but now we do. This double digit plus line is begging us to believe the Lakers somehow have one last stand in them. Too much offense versus not enough defense equals and early vacation in La La Land.
The only question that remains is will this be Dwight Howard's last game as a Laker? Confidence Rating: 3
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (+1.5) over Denver Nuggets: This line worries us, but you all know we can't start picking against the Warriors now. Why are the Nuggets favored? Will their intensity be even greater than it was in Game 3 because their backs are against the wall? Does Vegas think Denver self-destructed more than Golden State earned the victory? We don't care. We're taking the Oracle crowd to deliver yet another devastating loss to the pedestrian post-season career of George Karl. What's up with that? He has thousands of regular season wins, but loses 65% in the playoffs. Does he exclusively coach over-achieving regular season teams? Confidence Rating: 2
BOSTON CELTICS (+2.5) over New York Knicks: We might regret this one, too, but we want to believe - although it may need a triple bypass, several stints, or a full-fledged transplant - that Boston still has the heart of a champion. Does that mean this series isn't a foregone conclusion? No, it just means the Celtics like to party in the Big Apple when their season ends on Tuesday. Confidence Rating: 1
Happy Betting, everyone.
Vinny and Marco