The NBA is back in full-effect tonight with a packed slate of games, eleven in all, including a nice matchup with the Rockets visiting the Spurs and the Pistons heading to Indiana to renew an old-school rivalry that is finally decent again. But the biggest story in the NBA is the return of Steph Curry to Golden State… and the possible return of Coach Kerr as well. The Warriors obviously missed Curry, getting blown out in Dallas (though winning the next night in Houston). Missing Kerr was a little less obvious. They went 29-1 when healthy without Kerr manning the clipboard, so it’s hard to say they will be “better” with him back on the sidelines, but it is certainly a welcome sight to see the architects of one of basketball’s most exciting teams ever back standing on the side.
Meanwhile, we took an L fading the sometimes great/sometime awful Heat. Turns out last night was a “great” night. Lesson learned. We will try to get it back tonight and see if we can bring some of the great 2015 success into the New Year of 2016…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors -12 (Total: 213.5)
When in doubt, head to the Bay. The Champs are back at full strength and that means a full complement of trouble for the undermanned Nuggets tonight. Golden State’s prowess is obvious and probably repetitive at this point. You already know they are 30-2 and you know they haven’t lost at home. You know they are mauling teams, winning by an average of 17+ points a night. You know all these things.
You may not know how lousy Denver is. They have lost four straight and with their rash of injuries, things might only be beginning to bottom out. Their starting frontcourt is currently Kenneth Faried, Kostas Papanikolaou and Joffrey Lauvergne. That’s one guy who is six years past his prime, another guy who is a mediocre NBA player at his ceiling and the guy who got killed last season in Game of Thrones. That ain’t gonna cut it against the champs. I think this one gets ugly early, even if the Warriors get a little bored, and win this thing by twenty-plus.
The Warriors can beat you so many ways. Steph was out, so they moved the ball even better, recording 35 assists and letting Klay drop bombs from long range. Tonight, things will be easy again – ball moving effortlessly, dozens of easy shots in transition and lots of easy buckets. Expect Coach Kerr’s (hopeful) return to the bench to be an enjoyable one – and one he gets to spend sitting next to Steph, Klay and Draymond for most of the fourth quarter.