We are down to three more nights before the NBA turns their focus to the All Star Game festivities in Toronto for the weekend, and the NBA rumor mill is churning full steam. The biggest presumption now is that George Karl will obtain a title three others have earned in the last four years; “Ex-Coach of the Sacramento Kings”. It was a marriage made in curiosity from the outset, but it does make one wonder if there is ANY solution for this floundering franchise other than a complete reboot – even if that means moving on from their best player, and arguably best true big in the league, Boogie Cousins.
Meanwhile, no one has pulled the trigger on any major trades yet, perhaps waiting until the All Star Weekend passes and the trade deadline more closely approaches on February 18th, but there is a lot of movement to consider beyond just the early dismissal of Derek Fisher, who must now turn his full attention to hiring security to ward off Matt Barnes…
We took an overtime defeat last night with the Blazers notching an impressive win in the Grindhouse. We’ll look to get back on track with a winner tonight on a sparse schedule that is saved by a nice doubleheader on TNT featuring the Spurs in Miami and the Rockets and Warriors linking up in the Bay.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors -14.5
The last time the Rockets went into Golden State, their season ended with a thud. The Warriors capped off the Western Conference Finals with a comfortable victory and James Harden exited the arena having shot 2 of 11 and committing an insane 12 turnovers. Still chapped over losing the MVP as the new season began, the debate that was fully intense nine months ago now seems laughable; Curry is the runaway MVP this season and James Harden is back to being a guy who scores points on a team that defends with indifference at best and who lands on as many Vines for his atrocious D as he does his sparking offense.
That said, 14.5 is a TON of points to lay down in any NBA game, especially one that should have a little extra zip for the visitors. Golden State is just 12-11 ATS at home this season, and yes, they have won every single home game so that is largely a reflection of the massive point spreads, but it feels like a pretty cogent fact given the massiveness of tonight’s point spread. Houston is fresh off their absolute stinker versus Portland, but they have had two days to rest and, more importantly, should have Harden and Howard in the lineup tonight.
I don’t think they win by any stretch of the imagination. If the Warriors epic year-plus home winning streak is going to end, it is going to have to be against a team with a little more heart than these Rockets. But I do think they can keep the game reasonably competitive. I’ll take Houston with the 14.5 to make it at least a game worth watching for a while.