Our seven game winning run came to a halt last night with two rarities; a Knicks road win and a Pacers home loss. New York got a big effort from Melo and rode a 40-point second quarter to a five-point victory.
We will try to get back on the winning track tonight with a pretty full slate of games to choose from. The highlight of the schedule tonight is San Antonio visiting Toronto as the Raptors have a tough challenge in rode rot stop their recent free fall which includes losses to the Sixers and Suns. Can they stop the skid tonight? San Antonio is 19-4 on the ROAD this season, which is absolutely ridiculous.
Elsewhere, the injured Clippers finally catch a break as they visit surging Philly who will be missing their rookie (potential) All Star, Joel Embiid who is “resting” his sore knee, and the Celtics and Wizards matchup in a game featuring some pretty outstanding guard play.
Let’s get back on track and notch a Tuesday winner.
Today’s Free Pick:
Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets -2.5
The Jazz are eyeing not just a return to the playoffs, but a possible home court advantage in Round One as they hunt down the fourth seed in the West. All Star rosters aren’t announced until Thursday, but it is a solid lock the Jazz will have at least one (Hayward) and possibly two (Gobert) suiting up for the February extravaganza. They don’t have the big name recognition of some of their Western counterparts, but the Jazz have the pieces in place to be a serious threat to cause some trouble in the West. Not saying they can beat Golden State or the Spurs, but they could easily meet one in the second round and make them work a bit.
The Jazz just had their six-game winning streak snapped by Oklahoma City, but they are still 17-5 with George Hill in the lineup this season. He spearheads the Utah attack offensively, but more importantly, is an underrated defender at the point guard position and pick and roll situations – a big reason WHY the Jazz have the best defense in the NBA (Rudy Gobert, aka The Stiffle Tower doesn’t hurt either). Hill is in the lineup, so there isn’t much reason to pick against the Jazz tonight against a non-playoff team.
Utah doesn’t have great ATS numbers, but at a near pick ‘em tonight, I am willing to go against the trend. Look for the Jazz to pick up the road win and keep cruising towards that fourth playoff spot.
**Update. We had Jazz -2.5 earlier, while it’s actually +2.5**