Raptors vs. Kings Pick NBA – Dec 2nd

The Nuggets win when they hold their opponents under 100 points. So I was feeling pretty good at 103-99 with my Nuggets pick and another NBA winner. Until a garbage bucket with less than a second went through the hoop and the Jazz pulled to 103-101 to steal a half-point garbage cover and deal me one of my tougher losses of the season. Bad beat happen – especially over 100-plus picks in a full NBA season, but they are still never fun…. Ugh….

We will dust off and get back on track today with a much larger slate of action to in which to find a few games of interest. The second-best game last night was the Spurs without Duncan and Parker keeping the 76’ers without a win, despite a gallant fourth quarter effort to make the game respectable. I know their coach has gotten a lot of criticism for his praise of his team’s effort and attitude, but anyone who watched that game last night (admittedly, few people) would have to come away saying the exact same thing; for a team that outmanned and overmatched, these guys play hard and do seem to genuinely care and like playing basketball together.   I know it’s a “win now” business, but that is evidence of some really good coaching…

By the way – it’s looking possible Kevin Durant could play tonight. If he does, that makes getting a few points at New Orleans awfully attractive…it’s worth keeping an eye on.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Toronto Raptors at Sacramento Kings -1.5

It’s going to be interesting to see how well the Raptors can manage without their best scorer and one of the best players in DeRozan. Heading out west to play is a tough order for any Eastern Conference team regardless, but playing the undervalued Kings at less than full strength is a very tough task indeed.

Toronto has been wonderfully efficient and has excelled by every metric, but until they show they can win without DeMar, I’m going to continue fading them until the lines get a better feel on what this team’s true capability is.

Sacramento has been fantastic this season. Yes, their record has them outside the crowded Western Conference Playoff picture, but their 9-7 mark is against as tough a slate as anyone in the NBA has faced, and now both Gay and Cousins are healthy again. I think the Cow Palace will be rocking and the home faithful will have a lot to cheer about tonight in Sac-town.

Free Pick: Sacramento Kings -1.5

Chris Scheeren / Author