Lakers vs. Timberwolves Pick NBA – November 13th

The Spurs finally had an entirely full squad for the first time this season with the return of Danny Green, and it appeared to make a difference.  It certainly made them a deeper team, a better defensive team – and it led to a nice revenge win in Houston.  It also led me to another defeat in a tough end to the week in an otherwise successful season.  It’s time to get back on the W side of the ledger tonight to close out the week.

Elsewhere, it may just be the hapless Pelicans, but it might be time to start giving Luke Walton and the new-look young Lakers some respect.  They moved to 6-4 on the season after last night’s blowout win IN New Orleans, and they are getting great balance and efficiency, even on the road – something virtually UNHEARD of from a team this young.  I’m not sure they can really hold on a be a playoff team all season long, but they aren’t a joke anymore, not by a long shot, and have proven they can get wins on any given night.  A really impressive start.

Let’s get back on track today with a winner to close out the week.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves -4

Time to put my money where my mouth is.  I’ve been yapping about the viability of the new-look Lakers, now I get a chance to double-down with five points in my pocket to sweeten the deal.   Yes, the Lakers are on the back end of a back to back, but so is Minnesota.  Both will have the same fatigue, but the difference is, the Lakers have at least been playing quality basketball – the Wolves have not.

But… not so fast my friend.  There is ANOTHER difference; the Lakers are on the ROAD for the back half and the Wolves are at HOME.  The other difference is that the records are a little misleading.  The Wolves, despite a lousy record, are just -0.1ppg in their overall point differential.  They also rank a surprising FIFTH in the NBA in offensive efficiency.  The Lakers are also good at 11th, but I am sure many would be surprised to see a young team with a 2-6 record ranking in the top five in the NBA offensively.

Defensively, neither is great.  The Lakers rank 15th to Minny’s 23rd.  Neither is AWFUL, but neither is great, but the edge does go to LAL.  The point?  There isn’t as much difference in the play of these two teams as their records might indicate.  I was under the impression, like many of you probably are, that the Wolves have been BAD this season, but the numbers say they’ve been a little unlucky and actually playing a little better than the record indicates.

Yes, at some point, you are your record.  But from a wagering standpoint, I am much more interested in HOW a team is playing and what some of the data indicates.

The sheer volume of young, athletic, exciting talent on the court tonight alone makes this game worth watching.  Enjoy it!  Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Kris Dunn, Zach Levine, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns – that would be an UNREAL All American 2016-2017 Preseason Team for the NCAA…

My Pick:  Minnesota Timberwolves -4