Spurs vs. Pelicans Pick NBA – November 20th

I’m not going to whine and complain about the near back-door push last night on a relatively unguarded Chris Paul layup down nine with ten seconds to play. The reason why? How on EARTH did Golden State win that game last night? They were down 23 in the second quarter. They went down ten points (for the second time in two meetings) in the mid fourth quarter. Yet, somehow, someway, the Warriors did it again. The entire team caught fire, making seven consecutive fourth quarter three point attempts and holding the previously-awesome Blake Griffin to just a single fourth quarter point.

In my meager defense, MOST of you who followed my advice on the Dubs got a WIN and not a push. The reason I laid six and a half points (to win by a half-point) was that at the time of writing, Chris Paul wasn’t expected to play. He did play. And he played amazingly well. In fact, the first quarter might have been one of the best quarters I have seen him play outside of the San Antonio playoff series last year. He was awesome.

And it still wasn’t enough. At home. With a 23 point lead. The Champs are still the champs, and downplay it however you want, you can be the Charles Barkley/Reggie Miller “this team has no shot at winning 72” and “MJ’s Bulls would dominate them” but keep in mind that the history of this team is still in its authorship. You are quite likely watching an all-time transcendent team. Enjoy it. (And yes, I came close to picking against them laying eight against a good Bulls team given the energy expended in last night’s emotional thriller…but I dare not stick my hand in that fire… bet against the Dubs if you want. I’m wimping out, even though all the NBA betting rules scream Chicago +8)

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Today’s Free Pick:

San Antonio Spurs -9 at New Orleans Pelicans (Total: 200.5)

Ho hum, yawn… the Spurs are 9-2 and cruising along with the second-best record in the NBA. LaMarcus Alderidge is beginning to fit in and Kwahi Leonard is firmly established as one of the five best two-way players in the NBA. Tony Parker has been healthy. Old Man Riverwalk is STILL astonishingly productive. And there is a good chance you haven’t even heard.

Two reasons.   One, Golden State. Two, the Spurs schedule has left a little to be desired. But still, after 11 games, San Antonio is fifth in the league in offensive efficiency and first in defensive. This team has been the most dominant 9-2 team in history that NO ONE has noticed.

Everyone has noticed the Pels though. They are 1-11 and floundering miserably. Perhaps they should fire their coach, after all it magically cured the Rockets (Sarcasm. Heavily.). Or they could just pray Anthony Davis’s injury troubles are transient more than permanent (he does seem hurt a lot) and that they can get a nice ping pong ball this Summer to put a desperately needed second piece next to AD. For now, they are just BAD. Davis is likely out again tonight, but has been listed as questionable (sorry ESPN!) Even if he plays, this is a team that is ranked 30th in defensive efficiency playing against one of the most balanced and efficient teams in the world. The Spurs are rested, so there are no “tricky Coach Pop” concerns tonight.

I like the Spurs to win easily and to cover the healthy road spread.

Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -9


Chris Scheeren / Author