TJ MCCONNELL!! Trust the Process!!
Ok, a bit much – but come on man, wasn’t that FUN in Philly last night? And “fun” and “Sixers” is a combo that hasn’t even been a reasonable question since The Answer was skipping practice. Sure, the Sixers are just 11-25 and seven games out of the playoff picture, but the mere fact they have players on their team vocally AWARE of their playoff positioning is a huge positive change and a sign that things are finally moving in the right direction. And keep in mind, Ben Simmons hasn’t even played yet and he will likely make Jahlil Okafor and/or Nerlens Noels valuable trade chips to get some better-fitting complimentary players to bolster the roster.
The Process is starting to, gulp, actually WORK…
Another Process that works? Getting the ball to Russ and getting the hell out of the way. We notched another winner last night as the Fightin’ Westbrooks beat the Grizzlies in OKC. Westbrook recorded his 18th triple double in the victory and continues to average a triple-double for the season.
And no, I STILL wouldn’t have him first on my MVP ballot. As fun as this storyline is, Harden has been no worse than statistically equal and his team is 31-10 with similar complimentary rosters.
It’s a great time to be an NBA fan when one could reasonably leave either Steph Curry, Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard off their MVP ballot entirely…
And by the way, I’m not picking the game, but I might be forced to hate-watch the Bulls at Knicks game tonight… could two less-dysfunctional teams PLEASE be a replacement on TNT tonight?? Any two teams. Literally. ANY TWO…
Today’s Free Pick:
Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors -12.5
There is always a fear-factor when wagering against the Warriors. The potential for a 30-point cruise control beat-down is always present, especially at home. But the numbers of late don’t bear out reason to that fear. Golden State has failed to cover their last five games overall. They’ve failed to cover their last five at home. And they are just 16-22-1 ATS on the entire season.
They are the most ho-hum 33-6 team in wagering history.
But perhaps we expect too much from the Dubs and the lines just got too unwieldy. After all, they lead the NBA in point differential by a TON at +11.8. The second-closest is the Spurs at 8.2, nearly a 30% differential. They are still on pace to win 70 games, which would be one of the six best regular seasons in NBA history. So their ATS difficulties are less a function of poor play than they are aggressive point spreads.
If you asked the average NBA fan to rate the Warriors performance this season, it would be met with an undeserved “meh.”
They will win tonight, and that almost seems like a given. And I think they will buck the recent trend and do it with a flourish of points as they catch a nice matchup tonight and they are healthy and well-rested. They don’t play again until Monday’s clash with the Cavs, so there is SOME potential to look past tonight but with three days of rest coming, I think tonight is the “test the engine” game and they put the pedal down to the floor. The ATS numbers of late aren’t great, but tonight is a good matchup against a lousy road team crossing the country and a nice island game for the Dubs where rest and focus shouldn’t be an issue.
Detroit is one of the worst road wagers in the NBA at 8-13 ATS and even worse as a road dog at 5-10 ATS. Again, it’s a real long flight out West and a rested BEST TEAM IN THE NBA (we sometimes forget) is awaiting them.
I’ll eat the point pile and buck the recent trend and bank on the two-time Western Champs to bring their A-Game in a nationally televised contest.