The Celtics pulled off some impressive wins during their six game win streak, none more impressive than their resilient triple-overtime win over the Nuggets this weekend. Perhaps this team really IS better without Rajon Rondo??? Oh yeah – last night’s reality check. A 94-91 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats (Happy 50th MJ!) ended that win-streak and should put at least a temporary hold on the topic that Rajon had to love hearing 24-7 on local sportstalk radio…
Meanwhile, we wrote about them about three weeks ago, but the Washington Wizards continue to be one of the best wagers in the NBA. Forget the overall record – this team is playing like a playoff basketball team since the return of John Wall. Some speculated that the return of Wall would stunt the development of rookie Bradley Beal, but nothing could be further from true. Beal scored a season high 28 points last night while Wall had 14 points and 10 assists in the Wizards impressive 102-90 road win at Milwaukee. They are 11-7 since Wall’s return. They are likely short on time to actually climb back into the Playoff picture, but they look like a definite playoff team in 2014.
Our six game NBA winning streak came to a close last night with the Hawks going on the road and notching a surprising win last night, but hopefully we can rebound tonight with a couple of NBA winners.
Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies -9
The Kings are on a nice two game winning streak, but tonight they come back to reality. That reality is, away from home, this team is pitiful. The Kings are just 5-21 on the road, while Memphis is 21-8 at home. The Grizzlies aren’t terribly efficient offensively, shooting just 43.8% from the floor (part of the reason, I think, behind the willingness to deal Gay, an inefficient volume scorer), but the good news is they play against one of the more generous defenses in the NBA. Sacramento allows opponents to shoot nearly 47% from the floor. Couple that with one of the worst assist to turnover ratios in the NBA and you have a recipe for some difficulty, especially on the road.
I think Sacramento’s nice little two-game win streak comes to a halt tonight, and the Grizz get a nice easy comfortable home win tonight.
Free Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -9
Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors -5
This is an interesting game, as Golden State comes in on a four game losing streak; however, each of their losses was on the road and to some pretty good teams (OKC, Memphis, Houston). Houston enters having lost three of their last six, but their losses are @Miami, @Denver and @Sacramento (OK, the last one is kinda ugly). The lesson here? Both teams are pretty good, but neither is real strong away from home.
Before the Warriors four game skid, they had won four in a row and looked like a solid playoff team. I think they still are. They also have a nice log on the fire tonight, as the last meeting between the two was humiliating for them. They allowed an insane 140 points in a 140-109 blowout in Houston.
Tonight they get the chance to return serve, this time in their own gym, in front of their rowdy fans that will be anxious to welcome the team home.
You see it all the time in the Playoffs; one team dominates at home and then turns around and looks helpless two days later on the road. I think this game fits the mold perfectly.
Free Pick: Golden State Warriors -5