Our winning streak (14-1-2 NBA ATS in 2015) plowed forward last night with one of the easier NBA covers we’ve had in a while as Atlanta and their seemingly-perfect Spursian outfit absolutely dominated Toronto in their own gym. The Hawks shot a staggering 62% from the floor, 52% from behind the arc and 88% from the foul line. They had 30 assists as a team and six players scored in double figures, with each one averaging well over 1.2 points per shot attempt. That is a blinding level of efficiency and makes you wonder if every team had that absurd sense of togetherness if we might not witness a completely different sport.
The Hawks are definitely a surprising submission in to this year’s “best team in the NBA” discussion, but as great as the Hawks have been, it is still a complicated discussion. Golden State and Portland have been the class of the West; both got rolled up last night by the two teams we expected to be the fulcrum of the discussion – Oklahoma City and San Antonio. And, do we dare say it… don’t completely abandon the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron is finally healthy and, while they still defended half-heartedly, they did just go into Los Angeles and take down the Clippers last night.
More than any year I can recall, this thing is WIDE open. It’s going to be an awesome five months with a ton of twists and turns before we finally crown a 2015 champion…
We are now an absurd 14-1-2 ATS in 2015 and are on a nine-game winning streak. Let’s keep it rolling through the weekend.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Philadelphia 76’ers at Detroit Pistons -13.5
There are three absolute must-see games on today’s slate: Atlanta trying to knock off top contenders on a road back-to-back in Chicago tonight, the Warriors trying to rebound on the road against Houston and Portland trying to do the same in Memphis. There’s no rest to the weary in the West and if the home teams prevail we could see some real tightening at the top of the standings.
However, my pick focuses on the game with the most advantageous line. I built a lot of this streak on the back of the resurgent Pistons. But, like all good things, this too has started to slow down. They are just 2-3 ATS in their last five games and their last four wins have all been one or two possession games. They also played a tough game last night in Indianapolis, making this the backend (and an easy one to overlook) of a back-to-back. The Pistons are just 3-6 straight up on back-to-backs while Philly is 6-3 ATS.
The Sixers aren’t any longer the laughing stock they were in the season’s first two months. They are 4-6 over their last ten games and since their nightmare season-starting losing streak, they are actually playing .400 basketball – not great, but not embarrassing, and in the East, damn near playoff level.
I don’t think they go into Detroit and knock off one of the hottest teams in the NBA. But I don’t think they roll over and get pummeled either, especially with Detroit on short rest. Thirteen points is a LOT to lay in an NBA game. I feel pretty good taking that many points and letting the streak ride on the suddenly-respectable Sixers.