Derek Rose is calling out teammates. The Cavs are on a three game winning streak. The Thunder are still on the outside of the playoff picture and the Spurs, who finally got back the reigning Finals MVP, are making a surge to try to get into the top four in the West. If the season ended today, it’d be a short one since we are only halfway, but it would also be a surprising one. Atlanta looks unbeatable. And Warriors continue to hold the top spot in the West as they have nearly all season long.
It’s been a great first half of the NBA season and it’s only getting better from here. We wrapped the first half up with a winning record thanks to a really nice run to start the year. Let’s see if we can have an even better second half and playoffs.
Today’s Free Pick:
There are only two games to choose from today, and both are for the nostalgic more than fans of the now; Miami hosts Oklahoma City in a rematch of the 2012 NBA Finals (san Harden and LeBron) while the late game leaves fans remembering when Denver was actually a formidable playoff foe, back in the good ole days with Melo and George Karl… OK that’s a reach, but it is clear that Playoff contention is a long ways away for the in-limbo not-bad, not-good Nuggets.
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San Antonio Spurs -8 at Denver Nuggets (Total: 203)
It’s not fair to say the Nuggets stink; like every team in the West except the Wolves and maybe Lakers, they’d be a playoff team in the East and have some decent pieces. But I think this team finally sees the writing on the wall and knows that a major rebuild is going to be necessary in order to get back to legitimately competitive. They moved the underrated Timofey Mozgov to the Cavs and have struggled since. They’ve lost three games in a row and are fresh off one of their worst losses in franchise history, 122-78 to the Warriors.
Meanwhile, San Antonio is on a three-game winning streak and it is no coincidence that it perfectly aligns with the return of Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs are poised to make a real run back into the top half of the standings, and as they get healthy, anyone who ignores them on the list of legit Finals threats is seriously remiss.
I like San Antonio, who is well rested, to jump all over a tired Nuggets team and get a big win today. The “foot off the pedal” days will be fewer and farther between as the Spurs make a furious close to the season, especially with the rest of the All Star Break right around the corner. Look for a hard-charge into the break from the Spurs and a bunch of wins.