There are no unbeaten teams remaining in the NBA. The Warriors looked good for three quarters on the road in a back-to-back against Phoenix (without Klay Thompson) but a 36-16 fourth quarter undid the Warriors, despite an excellent solo act from the lone Splash Brother.
Meanwhile, only one team remains winless after the Lakers used a similarly spirited third quarter run to get a runaway home win over the Hornets. The Lakers are still horrible and the 31 win Vegas total from the preseason seems like laughably easy money on the under, but I imagine in Kobe’s mind there was some joy in vanquishing Michael Jordan’s team last night, even if MJ is 51 years old and in a suit…
We took a loss last night to cap off a rough weekend with the Thunder handling the Kings at home. The game, on paper, looked like one Sacramento should have won. They shot just as well from the floor, made the same number of 3-pointers, and were an efficient 45.6% from the floor with less turnovers. The big difference was at the foul line where the Kings shot 65% on eight less attempts while the Thunder netted 88% of their freebies. Coaches have been saying it since the first hung peach baskets – gotta make free throws to win; especially on the road.
Let’s start a new week with a new streak.
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Here’s Today’s Free Pick:
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers -2.5
If the season ended today, the Cavaliers, Spurs and Thunder would all miss the playoffs. So… yeah. It’s still early. But in the early going, neither of these two teams have looked like the Title contenders most billed them as. I expect some of the first two week rust/feeling out period will be over and we should get an elite basketball game tonight.
Both teams should be well rested and healthy. Only Patty Mills is listed on the injury report, so both teams are at near full strength. The Spurs have played the Clippers well historically, winning 55 of their last 65 meetings, but I’m less concerned about history than I am the NOW. Right NOW, the Clippers are the most talented team in the league, and the Spurs are the most cohesive. So who prevails tonight?
I like Blake Griffin and the Clipps. Griffin averaged 25/11 against the Spurs last year including 31.0 at home. He is a tough cover for any of the Spurs players. Kawhi is too light, Duncan and Splitter too slow. Look for Blake to be big. The Spurs are known for being especially tough when cornered. They have lost two in a row so they will be focused tonight, but I think LA at home is just a little better.
It should be a great game; one worth watching for sure. I’ll be watching and hopefully cashing in on the Clippers as well.