Yesterday’s NBA game not only covered, but the game unfolded almost eerily as predicted; LeBron, who averaged 34 ppg against the Thunder their last five games, scored 34 points exactly. The Thunder, whose efficiency I called into question, particularly Serge Ibaka, were exactly as inefficient as projected. Their big three combined to shoot 25 of 65 (YIKES!) with Westbrook going 7 of 25 and Ibaka going 6 of 16 and launching an unconscionable NINE three point attempts.
Scott Brooks has some issues brewing right now. I haven’t read stories of discontent, I’m just watching the flow of their offense and where their shots are coming from on the floor and it’s not good. I’m leaning more and more towards the Thunder missing the playoffs narrowly and to next season starting with a bit of a reset and a new head coach. They certainly have the talent to rip off the 29-8 finish they’d likely need to make the playoffs, but I think they are going to come up a few wins short. They can’t beat good teams on the road with this current offensive chuck-fest and no one on the block who seems interested in being there… (and no smarmy comments after they win easily tonight. They’re hosting Minny on the back end of a road back to back. It doesn’t count.)
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Meanwhile, the Hawks glorious streak has finally come to a close. No, they didn’t lose a game. But they did fail to cover the 17.5 point spread against the Timberpups, winning by just 12. Not that anyone in Atlanta could give a rip…
Let’s start a new week right and see if we can tuck a Monday winner under our belts.
Today’s Free Pick:
Sacramento Kings -5 at New York Knicks
There is something pleasantly satisfying about finding a team that is lousy, but whose lousiness is bit overstated to the point they actually become a decent value. That could very well be the case with the much-maligned Knicks. Yes, they stink. Yes, they traded away two of their three best players. And yes, the fact that J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were that high on the pecking order in the first place is a really, really bad sign.
But keep in mind, during much of the Knicks disastrous streak, Melo was sidelined with an injury. And if you think his eyes aren’t lighting up tonight at home after watching what Klay Thompson just did to the Kings this weekend, you are insane. Expect Melo to be in full-on go-mode tonight. I’d be stunned if he doesn’t get 25-30 shot attempts up.
The Kings promising start has faded into obscurity. They’ve lost six straight games and seem resigned to yet another losing season, despite the brilliance of Boogie. Meanwhile, the Knicks have covered four straight games all with ease.
The Kings are among the worst defensive teams in the league, which never bodes well when travelling across the country. As long as Snowmageddon doesn’t wipe tonight’s game away, I like Melo to heat up the Garden and get a nice sneaky easy cover with the points.