Bucks vs. Pacers Pick NBA – November 21st

The “which will happen first” game, a Warriors loss or Sixers win is starting to get really interesting. The Warriors just pulled off a back-to-back winning at the Clippers and at home against the Bulls. Their record stands at 14-0 and their upcoming schedule looks like this: @Denver, Lakers, @Phoenix, Kings, @Jazz, @Hornets. Only the Suns and Kings are back-to-back. Legitimately, they should be 20-0 before a potentially tricky trip to Toronto (I suppose @Utah is tricky as well).

Meanwhile, someone make me a case for the Sixers NOT going 0-82?? I am pretty disgusted with myself for doing anything OTHER than fading then Sixers all week. They haven’t scored more than 88 points in their last five games and they’ve given up an average of 102.2 points. They aren’t even competing and are most definitely headed towards a fourth straight Top Three pick. And the fair question is, to what aim?? In the meantime, their next five games are on the road against quality opponents before two home games against the Lakers and Nuggets.

We could very well be looking at two streaks of epic proportions living for another week or two…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers -5

On paper, the Bucks would seem to have the better roster, but while they are still figuring out how all their young pieces work together, the Pacers seem to be patching it together with hustle, defense, veteran guile, and a renewed Paul George. PG-13 has returned not just healthy, but back into that “Top 5 two-way players in the NBA” discussion. He has been fantastic, and the Pacers have won seven of their last nine games with their only two losses coming by a combined five points at Cleveland and Chicago. They’ve been a legitimately playoff-level team – perhaps more a testament to Frank Vogel than anything else. Like Rick Carlisle, he has a team in the playoff picture that certainly doesn’t have a “automatic playoff” roster.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee has shown flashed, and Giannis appears to be taking the next step towards stardom. However, the results overall have been a bit erratic. They are 5-7 with a win at New York and at home against Cleveland. They also have a loss to the Nuggets, a barely-win over Philly, and have lost four of five overall.

The difference tonight will be on the defensive end of the floor. Both teams average a middling 97-ish points per game. However, Indiana smothers teams to 95.2 points against while Milwaukee allows a comfortable 103.2. The point differential average difference is close to eight points a game. So, I get a +8 with Indiana, plus home court advantage AND a team that has only lost twice in three weeks, and both close games on the road to two of the top three teams in the conference, and ONLY have to lay five points? That’s a pretty good value.

Free Pick: Indiana Pacers -5