Log another entry into the “West is WAY better than the East log” last night. The Timberwolves may have notched the most impressive win of the season last night going into Atlanta and defeating the Hawks by double digits. The young Timberpups have now gone into BOTH Chicago and Atlanta and left victorious. Karl Anthony Towns is notching double-doubles on the regular and Andrew Wiggins has gone for 30+ in back to back games. At 4-2 with road wins over the two aforementioned East contenders, I suppose that makes Minny the current #2 seed in the East. Funny thing, there’s a real good chance they don’t even make the playoffs in the West…
Meanwhile, my enthusiasm for Philly’s chances of playing a quality game were a little, um, overenthusiastic. They did not play well in Philly and got summarily dismissed by the veteran Bulls. Let’s see if we can make it up tonight and get back on track.
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors -7.5
Things were looking good in The North with a 5-0 start and new leaner-meaner Kyle Lowry and DeMarr DeRozan looked like the best backcourt in the East. But some of that enthusiasm was dampened as they dropped their last two games and scored just 29 second half points in their most recent outing at Miami.
The good news for the Raps is that they have had a day off and are heading home. Their two losses, @ Orlando and @ Miami, were not pretty, but they were the third and fourth games of a four games/six days road trip. A LOT of NBA teams struggle in that construct. We will get a chance to find out what they are made of tonight with a should-win game at home against an inefficient offensive team.
Carmelo is scoring and Porzingis looks like a bonafide NBA player. But both are shooting below 40%. That’s not good, but it might not be entirely their fault. Where else are the Knicks going to go to score? Who is going to create enough scoring to get some pressure off of them? Their third leading scorer is Langston Galloway. So… yeah.
Going on the road to play a superior team that has gotten some rest after a tough end to a road trip is never an enviable task. I think Toronto gets back on track tonight. Despite their last two losses I still think this is a top-4 team in the East and will play like it tonight.
Look for the Raptors to win by double digits as they are simply far more efficient that the Knicks.