So last night I bet on the Magic Raptors in a similar closeout game. I took the Magic and they went down big early and ended up losing by 19. I’m not sure there was much time in the game they were even covering the spread. Which was 11.5 so thats a bad pick. I feel like I’m falling into the same trap again with the Clippers tonight. But it’s tough to take a team to cover a 15 point spread in the NBA playoffs. The Clippers have been playing the Warriors very well and I expect that to continue tonight. The Warriors typically do very well in closeout spots. The game in 2017 where they went up 25 points early in Portland and then cruised to a 25 point win comes to mind.
Throughout the Warriors run they have done very well in closeout scenarios. Of course disregarding the obvious 3-1 debacle in 2016. For that reason, I think we will know early on if this pick is a winner or not. The problem with a 15 point spread is you can always get roped back in. That is the worst feeling. Being out watching a game with a team up by 20 points cruising to a win. And there you are just hoping they cut the lead to 15 so your bet can push. You’re living and dying with every basket down the stretch while you’re trying to keep your emotions inside since nobody else is watching the game. You hear someone ask the bartender if he can change the channel to a different game on that tv. You’re not going to say anything because you don’t want to sound like a degenerate sweating out +15. Now you have to try and watch it on a tv across the bar. There’s just over a minute and a half left, both benches are cleared and the reserves are playing out the rest of the game. Your team is down 19. If they can get a stop here a basket another stop and basket you’re golden. “Still plenty of time,” you tell yourself. Then you see someone you’ve never heard of like Furkman Korkmaz drive the lane take soft contact (remember it’s the end of the game so the players aren’t trying too hard either) hit the layup and-1. Of course he hits the free throw now you’re down 22. You decide not to look and declare it a loser. You make eye contact with the bartender who see’s you gesturing you’re empty glass of beer. “Get me a shot too” you say
“Of what?” he asks
“Whatever. Actually make it a double of whatever”
The bartender brings you another beer and a double shot of fireball. Which you immediately down. You start trying to join in the conversation your friends have going on. But they’re talking about the Avengers and you have no idea what they’re talking about. You look back across the bar to the tv with the game and somehow its only a 13 point game. You begin thinking to yourself “Holy shit! They must have hit 3 straight 3s! I can’t believe I’m going to cover!” The endorphins start rishing to your brain before you can even process what is happening on tv. There’s still 46 seconds left. “OK one stop and then just run the clock down and we got this. They won’t shoot at the last second right?” The team that is up runs down the clock before shooting a deep arcing 3. “no way! please dont go in!” you begin thinking and then you see it clang of the rim and your endorphins begin rushing again. The team gets it back on an offensive rebound though. “Fuck please get one more stop and it’s over please just one more stop”. Then you see Korkmaz start driving the ball in the lane against the soft defense. Layup and-1. Then OF COURSE he makes the free throw. Your team is down 16 with a 15 point spread and they with 22 seconds left they decide to just let the clock run. While you sit there wishing you never started watching the game again. You chug the rest of your beer and make eye contact with the bartender again.
“You need another one? Damn you’re thirsty man!” the bartender says.
“Yeah I’ll take another shot too”
Anyways with that being said I’m on the Clippers tonight.
LA Clippers +15