We came up three points short on our OVER pick, and frankly, Kobe’s homecoming was even worse than I imagined. I help onto a slim hope that there would be at least a flicker, a spark, an ember gently lit by one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Instead, we got a 7 for 26 en route to a deceiving 20 point night. Kobe’s shooting percentage is now under 30%, which is hard to even comprehend for an NBA basketball player. The result of the staggering inefficiency? The Sixers got their first win in 28 tries spanning two season, snapping the longest streak of misery in the modern history of professional sports.
It’s time to snap this small losing streak of our own tonight, so let’s get down to business.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Clippers -3
What’s not to like about Indiana right now? The league’s hottest team (again, all superlatives are to be assumed in the ‘non-Warriors’ division) with the league’s strongest MVP candidate (again, same assumption) is absolutely ripping through the league with their new-look small lineup. Yes, Paul George has been awesome, but when your second best player is a toss-up between CJ Miles, George Hill, and Monte Ellis, it’s time to remind all the morons who wanted to fire Frank Vogel last year that they are watching one of the better coaching jobs in recent memory.
Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum are the Clippers. All that talent. All that star power. And all those losses…The Clipps enter 10-8 and have the added problem of Chris Paul possibly sitting out tonight’s game with a strained rib cage. I kind of like getting on this line early and getting the three points, as it could narrow once/if Chris Paul is officially scratched.
I like the way Indiana is moving the ball right now. They are shooting 44.4%, which doesn’t leap off the page even though it is top ten. But the delineating factor is the 40.0% from behind the arc, second to only Golden State. It makes Indiana’s effective FG% second best in the NBA as well, a stat that is becoming more and more in vogue and will continue to be monitored as Golden State, and to a lesser extent, Indiana, succeed at high levels.
The Clippers have depth. That was the focus of their offseason overhaul that brought in Paul Pierce and Lance Stevenson to join Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. The problem? None of them play point guard. If only Darren Collison was still around. Or Eric Bledsoe… all these big names but no one to run the show with Paul on the shelf. I think it catches up with them tonight. I’ll take the Pacers on the road. I’m glad to have the points, but I have a feeling I won’t need them. Traveling out West is tough, but I am assuming the Pacers stayed comfortable since the Sunday game against the Lakers and they’ll be ready to go.