The internet melted with glee at the opening night demise of Lonzo Ball. What an overrated bum! The internet similarly melted last night with the opposite reaction as Lonzo’s second game near-triple double cemented his certain Hall of Fame status.
So which is it?
Probably neither. There are two variables in the extremes that won’t be present in most games, and we will see his results settle neatly – and probably almost EXACTLY –
between the two extremes. The first variable is the defense of Mister Patrick Beverly, probably the most intense and annoying 94-foot defender in the NBA. The second variable is the collective embodiment of the opposite of Patrick Beverly, the Phoenix Suns. The Suns have allowed 256 points in their two games so far, so don’t get too enamored with Ball’s 29/11/9 masterpiece, as beautiful as it was to behold.
Elsewhere, the Wolves got a tough win over the Jazz last night, but for the second time this season I came up less than a bucket short of cashing a winning wager. It’s not the start I was hoping for, but with two buckets, we’ d probably be bragging on a hot start… Alas, it is time to get to work and see if we can put in a winning weekend.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Portland Trailblazers at Milwaukee Bucks -3.5
Tonight might well be the perfect illustration of the difference between the East and the West. The Bucks are the fun sleeper contender in the Eastern Conference behind their young emerging superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo “The Greek Freak.” The Blazers are considered a borderline playoff team in the West.
And the rosters aren’t really close in terms of overall talent, once you subtract the Bucks best player. The Blazers backcourt firepower is on par with any team in the NBA and the addition of Jusef Nurkic to the mix makes them even more potent and less solely-reliant on their dynamite duo of Lillard and McCollum. They’ve defended well so far this season as well, holding opponents to just 86.0 ppg through two games. The Bucks also expended a lot of energy last night trying to match LeBron and the Cavs and their tremendous depth on ESPN.
Backend of back-to-backs are never ideal scenarios for NBA success, especially when wagering, but with both teams having played last night, and Milwaukee not having to travel so I’ll take the team that didn’t play last night and the one that has more places to get buckets. The Bucks, other than Giannis, shot just 38% from the floor last night. Milwaukee will have some trouble scoring when Giannis isn’t on his peak performance most of the season, and I think they’ll need more points against a team that can light it up like Portland.
The Blazers will win a lot of Eastern Conference games this season, even if it isn’t quite enough to make the Playoffs in their own stacked league.
Today’s NBA Pick: PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS +3.5