We notched a second straight winner last night with the Nets covering easily at home against the Atlanta Hawks 116-104. The Nets probably aren’t going to be any good this season, but through three games, they are at least a fun watch and a surprisingly effective offensive basketball team.
The other two games were the close games I feared, so I stayed away. Both were close from a spread perspective, but the game of the night and early candidate for shot of the year came in Oklahoma City where Andrew Wiggins banked in a half-court three at the buzzer to escape with a thrilling 115-113 victory. The drama came just moments after Carmelo Anthony sunk an apparent game-winning three pointer. This game was fantastic, and it might serve as a valuable building block for both teams. The fact that the Thunder AND Russ, trusted ‘Melo with the game-winner – AND he delivered – could be a building block for future success. And the Wolves, winning on the road in gutsy, clutch fashion against a Top Four team on the road, should prove to a lot of people, including themselves, that they too can be a Top Four team in the West.
It is back to a crowded full slate of action tonight, highlighted by the Raptors at the Spurs and the Wizards at Denver in an interesting East vs. West measuring stick game.
Let’s see if we can grab a third straight W tonight.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Toronto Raptors at San Antonio Spurs -2
The Spurs have been known to coast in the regular season, but generally, you KNOW when San Antonio is going to cash one in; it is late in the season, it is a back-to-back, and often a highly-publicized game where Coach Pop can tweak the NBA a little bit. There’s no reason to think the Spurs aren’t all about the W tonight, and laying just two points at home seems to be a pretty favorable line, even with star Kawhi Leonard out with his quad problems.
The Spurs have won eight of the last ten head to head matchups between these two teams and owns a nearly double-digit margin of victory. They have lost their last five games in San Antonio and failed to cover in four of the five. Yes, this may not be quite as good of a Spurs team, but they are still a Top Four (at worst) club, and this Raptors team looks basically the same as usual; good, and occasionally really good – but what about this franchise encourages one to fancy better things in 2017-2018?
I’ll take the Spurs to do what they do; win at home. Two points seems really slim. I’d have been fine at 3.5 or even 4, even without Kawhi Leonard in uniform tonight. The Raptors will also being missing a key piece in Valencunias, but at last San Antonio is at home where their deep roster of bench players can move the ball, defend, get good shots, and find a way to win. Don’t be surprised if Rudy Gay goes OFF and if Kyle Anderson doesn’t look like a really nice backup option. The Spurs are deep enough to withstand a few games off by anyone on their roster – even the incomparable Kawhi.
Today’s NBA Pick: SAN ANTONIO SPURS -2