Perhaps we should stop looking at wins over the Cavaliers as “big wins” now that both Orlando and Brooklyn already own one… It’s been an odd start to the NBA season with a ton of “upsets” in the first few weeks. Is this a sign of the modern NBA? The evolution of “coasting” and “managing energy and minutes” over the course of a long, grueling season? Or is it something more? Are the teams we thought were “good” and “bad” simply not as far apart as preseason Vegas projections indicated? Neither Orlando or Brooklyn were expected to win more than 30 games. Both have beaten the three-time reigning Eastern Conference champs in convincing fashion.
It would make sense that eventually the balance of power would shift. Teams like Orlando and the Lakers have been drafting high for several years. It is logical that eventually their young talent would simply become, “talent.” But are we really there YET? The Lakers win over Washington last night was impressive – and another East vs. West embarrassment. Are they really ready to compete for a playoff spot?
This season has a long way to go, but I can’t remember many seasons where the first two weeks have raised as many questions as it has answered.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trailblazers -2
The Clippers are one of the more pleasant earl surprised this season, posting a 3-0 record with some high quality wins. But depth is not likely to be a strength of the Clippers, and their league-leading defense will face a huge test tonight on the road against the lethal Trailblazers backcourt.
I like Portland to put up some points tonight and for the Clippers to struggle to keep pace. The Clippers started the season with only four guards on their roster and the recent injury to Milos Tedosic is a big blow. It will force Juwan Evans and Sindarius Thornwell into the rotation tonight, and will require a second straight does of heavy minutes from Blake, DJ and Danilo Gallinari. It is asking a lot to expect Los Angeles to keep up their blistering start tonight and they are ripe for a regression to the mean game on the road.
The Clippers have owned the Blazers of late, sweeping a three-game series last year and winning 10 of the last 14 meetings, but I think the tables turn this evening. Home court, better rested and far more firepower. I’ll eat the slim two and take the Blazers.
Today’s NBA Pick: PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS -2