We notched an easy winner last night as the Thunder continued their home success and more presciently, the Pistons continued their road misery in a 104-88 victory. Russell Westbrook recorded his seventh triple double on the season and pulled his season averages to 31.2 points, 11.1 assists, 9.9 rebounds, bringing into focus the VERY real possibility of something that seemed nearly impossible four or five years ago; AVERAGING a triple double for the entire season.
Elsewhere, the Spurs and Warriors won again last night, relatively easy, and continue rolling along at a near record pace. However, just like last year, we are going to have to wait. And wait. And wait…for that dynamic matchup. The two aren’t slated to face off until March 11th and again on March 29th. Will both still be on a 66-70 win pace by March??
We pulled our ATS record to 20-12 (63%) with our fourth win in five games yesterday. Let’s see if we can keep this season of success rolling along today on a day full of games but lacking in anything resembling a marquee matchup.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Sacramento Kings -4 at Brooklyn Nets (Total: 217.5)
Neither one of these teams are likely heading to the Playoffs, but both have some nice talent, especially on the interior. Center matchups don’t move the needle in the modern NBA, but if you are looking for a true CENTER (not Anthony Davis od Karl Anthony-Towns), an old-school big man, it doesn’t get too much better than Boogie Cousins and Brook Lopez this afternoon.
So who has the edge?
The Kings record is lacking, but their schedule has something to do with their failures. They are a better 4-5 in their last nine games, and their five losses are to Houston, Clippers, Spurs, Blazers and a two-point loss to the Lakers. They own wins over OKC, Toronto twice and the Pelicans. Sacramento is a solid basketball team and will wind up winning 35-ish games once the schedule all balances out.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn has been competitive as well, though they could very well have one of the three worst rosters in the league. They have gotten solid production from Bogdanovich, Kilpatrick and Trevor Booker, but with Jeremy Lin hurt, and those being their three scoring options outside of Lopez, it leaves them well shy of a competitive NBA squad. The talent discrepancy is so vast, it is hard to pick Brooklyn when you look at matchups on paper.
On the plus-side for Brooklyn, they have been reasonable against the spread, posting a 7-7-1 ATS overall and a 4-3 ATS at home. However, they have lost six straight games and only one of them by less than 19 points. They have blowout point losses to Indy and Boston most recently, so the “well, it WAS the Clippers excuse” is out the window.
I like Sacramento to keep piling on the Nets problems. Sacramento is 5-1 ATS in their last six games, Brooklyn has failed to cover in all six, going 0-5-1 ATS. The Nets really miss having a point guard they can rely upon in Jeremy Lin. And let’s face it, when missing Jeremy Lin is the death knell for your team, you aren’t working with an A+ squad in the first place.