Our winning streak was snapped last night as the Knicks were unable to ever get over the hump at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who prevailed 113-102. The Thunder were led by yet another triple double from Russell Westbrook who went for 27 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists to officially raise his season averages to triple double status for the first time. It raises the very real question, with both he and James Harden – is it really possible to AVERAGE a triple double for the entire season in the modern NBA? It is a long season and there will be off nights, fatigue, nights where they play limited minutes, etc; but to this point, both are proving that it IS in fact possible. Unreal.
Elsewhere, the Warriors battled back to win their 12th straight game to move to 16-2 and the Jazz, Hornets and Celtics all notched road wins to go with OKC’s road win to make it a nice night overall for teams playing away.
We will try to get back to our winning ways tonight on a rather mundane slate of action with only six games and only two with single-possession spreads.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Hornets -3 (Total: 198.5)
This pick is a little dangerous, in that it violates one of my primary rules in NBA wagering against going anywhere near a favorite on their second night of a back-to-back. But there are two main reasons why I am willing to go in with Charlotte tonight despite last night’s game.
First, the Hornets are at HOME after a relatively easy win last night in Memphis. They cruised to a 20-plus point victory, so their court time for their stars was a little less than on a normal game. Secondly, they are at home against the Pistons, who have been so dreadful on the road this season. Detroit is 1-8 straight up on the road and is also 1-8 ATS. They aren’t just losing on the road, they are losing in the predicted fashion.
Meanwhile, Charlotte is a rather pedestrian 5-4 at home, but they are 8-5 ATS this season as a favorite and seem to have regained their early season form, winning their last two games after a little four-game malaise.
Detroit is a radically different team on the road this season, and a lot of it is their lack of a definitive offensive option. Tobias Harris is their leading scorer. Andre Drummond is their best player, but is more of a defender/rebounder, and point guard Reggie Jackson has been out all season. Ish Smith has played well running the team in his absence, but is far from the offensive threat of Jackson.
Charlotte might have a little fatigue tonight, but I’ll trust the overwhelming sample size of the Pistons dreadful road play and buck the convention of dodging teams on a second consecutive night of action with tonight’s play.