At long last, NBA season is here! Tonight features a limited slate of games but all three are interesting for different reasons and to varying degrees. The undercard features Anthony Davis playing the first game in the history of the “Pelicans” franchise. The artists formerly known as Hornets will don the Navy and Red for the first time against the Victor Oladipo-less Magic.
The real meat of the night’s schedule is the double header on TNT. The first game features a team a lot of experts are high on, the Dallas Mavericks, and the debut of Chandler Parsons and Jameer Nelson in Dallas taking on state rival and defending NBA Champs San Antonio Spurs. It’s Ga me One of the season, so hopefully Pop will play his starters (joking).
The finale features the return of the Black Mamba as the Lakers take on the Houston Rockets. Both teams and all three superstars (Kobe, Dwight and Harden) have a lot to prove this season. Don’t be surprised if Kobe drops 40 tonight… and the Lakers still lose by double-digits.
Let’s see if we can start off a great NBA season in great fashion – with a winning pick!
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Today’s Free Pick:
Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs -3.5 (Total: 202.5)
There’s a lot to love about the new-look Mavericks. Dirk is fully healthy for starters, and despite some years on his odometer he remains one of the most uniquely unguardable talents in the league. Even with the proliferation of bigs who can shoot, there haven’t been many seven footers with the range and smooth versatility of the big German. Now they’ve added Chandler Parsons to give them a third score to couple with Monte Ellis to bolster their offensive firepower (and replace Vince Carter). The biggest addition however is on the defensive side of the ball. Bringing Tyson Chandler back is an enormous move, because they have some defensive deficiencies. Their point guard rotation is solid but undersized and Monte Ellis is a disadvantage covering most two-guards in the league. Dirk isn’t real fleet of foot and Chandler Parson’s is an underrated defender but not exactly an All-NBA caliber defender. That makes the addition and subsequent health of Chandler absolutely vital.
This team will go as far as Tyson Chandler can anchor the defense.
And despite all the glowing reviews of the restructured Mavs roster, asking them to play their first game together and to go into San Antonio to knock off the defending champs feel a bit ambitious. Say what you want about the Spurs, but they knock out 60-win seasons with routine ease and that doesn’t happen without staunchly defending the home court. How are they only 3.5 point faves tonight?? This line should be 6, but apparently the Spur stigma is still alive and well.
I like the Champs at home, even with Kawhi Leonard out tonight. There will plenty of opportunitis to catch the champs napping or resting (literally). Tonight is not that night. Gimme the Spurs laying paltry three and a half at home.