We notched a slight underdog winner last night with the Heat holding off Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant at home last night in Miami. My favorite part of the game (aside from grabbing a second-straight winner) was Dwyane Wade in the postgame presser talking about the playoff intensity and saying what a big win it was for his “young team.”
Young? Huh? Three starters are on the downside of their primes and well into their 30’s. Goran Dragic is 29. Aside from Whiteside (who is older than you think) and Justise Winslow, this team is far from YOUNG. They may wind up being pretty good, but moral victories to buoy young confidence are not on the docket any time soon.
There aren’t any dazzling games tonight across The Association, but you can get a good look at Kristaps Porzingas, Anthony Davis and LeBron James on ESPN tonight, and that has to count for something, right?
Let’s stack a third straight winner to kickstart a good NBA weekend.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks -3
Let’s not confuse this “battle of New York” for a great basketball game. The Knicks, despite the bubbling interest in Kristaps, are a middling team at best, and still a pretty inefficient one with the offense plodding around iso-centric Carmelo’s 40% shooting. The Nets, despite two straight wins and a decent two weeks, are still one of the worst teams in the league (Joe Johnson’s 35% shooting is pretty murderous as well). It’s on tv, but be forewarned, you will not be witnessing classic basketball.
But will the Knicks win and cover? I think they will. The Knicks haven’t been awesome at home this season, but the Nets have been disastrous away from home. They are just 1-10 when leaving Brooklyn, and granted the travel is minimal, it is still a road-gym with road fans. There’s little reason to think they should win tonight, and they pretty much have to win straight up with the narrow spread.
New York is 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games. The Nets have been good against the number lately, covering nine of their last ten. That’s a powerful trend, but in most of those games they were getting a lot more points. The number has caught up and started to adjust. It’s been a long time since they were just three point dogs on the road, so I am not scared away by that recent trend.
Brooklyn is still a very inefficient basketball team, especially when they get away from pounding the ball inside. And they are very poor defensively. Their -6.2 ppg differential is one of the worst in the NBA and falls to an even worse -9.5 on the road.
I’ll take the Knicks to cover the slim number at home.