Cokin’s Corner, Wednesday 5/2/18
There was some thought that maybe things would be different this time around. The Toronto Raptors had finally snapped their lengthy streak of Game One defeats in the opening round. They seemed perfectly positioned to get out of the gate with a victory over a tired Cleveland Cavaliers entry on Tuesday night.
The Raptors are evidently still the Raptors. They had Cleveland down and potentially out early in last night’s game. Toronto was up 14 in the third quarter. The Cavs had trimmed the deficit to five entering the final regulation frame. But considering the Raptors had a 30-1 record at home when leading by five or more with 12 minutes to play, it looked like a Game One win was on the horizon for Toronto.
Forget that. The Raptors turned into the ultimate brick shooters when it mattered. They finished regulation in spectacularly incompetent fashion, missing their final 11 shots in regulation. The team got three good looks to win it late and clanked each of them.
This series isn’t over, but I’ve got say it kinda feels that way. I can see LeBron James and company enjoying a huge momentum boost coming out of a game they seemed likely to lose. And I can’t help but believe those nagging doubts are now front and center as far as the psyche of the Raptors is concerned.
My one Tuesday baseball play was a tough loss as the Giants had one of those games where they kept hitting hard shots right at Padres defenders. Give San Diego credit, they won a game in which they really mounted very few threats. In fact, the Friars finish the game with zero left on base. The Giants “won” that stat by a bunch, and unfortunately for them and me, the only stat that mattered went the other way tanks to Eric Hosmer’s ninth inning opposite field homer (into the wind, by the way, so this was no cheapie).
I’ve got one Wednesday lay I like quite a bit and a couple others could make the grade depending on lineup info, which I’l simply wait for before making a final decision. Check out the new special that’s available at Cokin’s Picks and be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more elaborate details on how things work. Also, for larger players, I have a net winners program that might be of interest.
Game Three between the Lightning and Bruins tonight as the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs continue.
LIGHTNING at BRUINS
Take: BRUINS -140
I’ve got two opinions on the Bruins. One is that they’re better than Tampa Bay. The other is that more than perhaps any team still vying for the Cup, the Bruins are also the most capable of beating themselves. I have no real explanation as to why this is, but this tendency has been on display on a few occasions already in the nine playoff games the Bruins have played to date.
That’s the big holdup for me tonight. The Bruins have the skills and smarts to neutralize the Lightning speed. Boston is very tough home team and Tampa has a really awful history on this ice. The Bruins are 33-7-4 at home against the Lightning.
This is already looking like a series where winning twice in succession might be difficult. I’m not by any means an ardent zigzag advocate (at least not as it applies to sports and if you’re reading another meaning into that comment, you’re likely on target). But I really do think backing the prior game loser is going to be a winning strategy in this best of seven. That being the case, I’d look to side with the Bruins to win Game Three this evening.