Our five game NBA winning streak was snapped last night with a 1-1 split after the “how the heck is this team even decent??” Pacers went on the road and beat the Jazz on the back end of the back-to-back. I am feeling a little chesty about correctly predicting the Sixers first home win of the entire season last night over the imploding Cavaliers, who blew a huge lead in the second half despite an awesome effort from Kevin Love. So, it wasn’t a winning day, but if you would have told me I’d split before the games I’d have felt better about the Jazz than the Sixers longshot. It’s a weird sport sometimes.
And speaking of weird, someone please explain to me the logic in bringing J.R. SMITH to the Cavaliers? Let’s recap; you have a team that isn’t getting along and hasn’t figured out where the basketball should go and when. Besides that their biggest deficiency is that they can’t guard anyone. So the remedy for that problem is to bring in JR SMITH??!? I saw the trade across the crawl during the awesome Notre Dame vs. North Carolina game and thought I needed new contacts. Perhaps this will somehow work, but I wish wish wish there was a Vegas line on how quickly this thing disintegrates because it would be my favorite play of the year no matter the line…
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It’s a light slate tonight with only two games available, but I like them both – but for tonight’s free pick I’ll head to the line I more prefer.
Today’s Free Picks:
Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs -8
The Houston Rockets are 3-4 with Josh Smith on the roster, and despite seemingly positive contributions, the wins are slowing. On the contrary, the Detroit Pistons are a perfect 5-0 with all five wins coming by double digits since he was jettisoned unceremoniously. You don’t have to be a Sabermetrician to see the mathematics at play here. Minus Josh Smith = Positive Results.
So tonight is the real test. Is this Detroit team really an overnight playoff team with just one simple reduction? I think they might be. I’ve liked their talented roster from the beginning of the season and have written on numerous occasions their roster, on parts alone, was better than ten to fifteen teams they trail in the standings. Now they are finally living up to that potential.
San Antonio should win. If for no other reason than they are the Spurs. But Parker and Kawhi are still out with injury. The Spurs are just 4-6 straight-up without Leonard. Patty Mills is back which will reduce the reliance on Corey Joseph, but it could be a tough matchup inside tonight for Tim Duncan with the strong, athletic frontcourt of Detroit. The Spurs can always shoot their way out of a tough spot if Danny Green gets hot, but I’ll take a huge pile of points and the hottest team in the NBA tonight, even on the road. Watch out for Stan Van and the re-energized Pistons crawling their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.