After a fun night of play-in games out East, we turn our attention, as EVERYONE will be doing, to the West, with a looming showdown between the Lakers and Warriors.
And guess what motherfuckers?
I AM IN LOS ANGELES WITH A PRESS PASS FOR THE WARRIORS-LAKERS GAME.
Who’s pressed now? Not me.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to cover a game with a credential. For four years I covered nearly every major sporting event for USA Today, from the NCAA football National Championship to the Super Bowl to the World Series to the Olympics. I’ve always wanted to do this at Barstool. But of course, the pandemic hit right after I got here. No live sports, a bubble, and no fans for ages. And to be honest? I was skeptical I would get credentialed because, well, you know, Barstool and the mistaken idea that some people have about us. But here we are, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’ll be giving you a lot of insight into what it’s like to be behind the scenes at a big game during a pandemic, but first … let’s preview the games starting with the early #9 and #10.
In the early game it’s the San Antonio Spurs taking on the Memphis Grizzlies. Here’s the thing people don’t want to hear about Greg Popovich: he looks like he’d rather be ANYWHERE rather than coaching the Spurs. Like at Tim Duncan’s HOF ceremony, like breaking down Kazakhstan’s bench players for the upcoming Olympics. Pretty much anything other than prepping his team for a play-in game.
That being said, god damn it if the Spurs aren’t a monkey wrench of a basketball team. Nobody can figure them out, not even Pop it seems. Some nights they score 150. Some nights they score 80. They lose to the Raptors by 5 then beat the Suns by 26. They lose to the Kings by 9 and then beat the Bucks by 21. No rhyme nor reason.
And the Grizzlies? Now that Jaren Jackson Jr’s back they are even better. But … they are young and make a ton of mistakes -- they have one of the worst turnover differentials in the league. They are a hectic watch. Ja Morant is one of the most fun players in the league to watch, but he can be wildly out of control at times.
You know what? I like the Spurs in this match-up. I take Spurs on the ML at +145 and the O222.
In the 7/8 game out West, we got another classic Chef Curry game to put the Warriors into the #8 seed, where they’ll play Lakers. Who could have seen that coming in February? I mean this is probably the most anticipated game of the year… maybe even since before the pandemic began.
The matchup I’m most looking forward to watching? Draymond versus Montrezl Harrell and Andre Drummond. Draymond gives ZERO fucks that he and Kevon Looney are undersized.
After the game they won for the 8 seed against the Grizzlies, he said this…
They are some fucking DAWGS.
Golden State is just humming right now. They are building leads when Curry isn’t making shots, and then when he comes alive? Burying teams. The Grizzlies made a big run late and Curry just took them out back and put them down.
The Lakers are nearly unbeatable when they are healthy. They are not healthy. Not by a long shot. AD is now dealing with multiple injuries. He’s got a bad ankle, bad shoulder and a degenerative condition in his achilles. He’s in pain. And Lebron? He already said, he’ll never be 100% ever again after this ankle injury.
I am in no way counting out Bron. Even when he’s injured he’s able to affect the game on both sides of the ball in unique ways. He is able to control the pace in a way to grind a team like the Warriors down and force them to play a slow, methodical game this young Warriors team does not want to play. But I think Steph is just playing too well right now and Draymond is too determined to show the world he’s the best defender on the floor at any given time. If Draymond can get AD out of his rhythm early, it's a wrap…
I have a hard time choosing who I think will win but my gut says Warriors win this one and that the X Factor is Andrew Wiggins who has all of a sudden become the player the Timberwolves wanted him to be.
So I take Warriors ML at +188 and the O218.
I’ll be posting a lot of behind the scenes content so if you’re at all interested in what goes on behind the scenes at a big semi-playoff game? Check the blog and social media as I’ll be posting all night.