We notched a winner yesterday to move above .500 on the young NBA season and will be looking for more this week.
But first a quick word on the World Series, since I won’t get a chance to talk baseball with you all until next Spring. It was a really nice baseball season for us here at thesportsgeek.com, but sputtered with some losses in the final week. The aggravating part was that the last game was handicapped correctly until the Mets made untimely errors and some shaky decisions. That is a factor that is relatively hard to predict. But you have to think Terry Collins woke up this morning mad at himself for letting the emotion of the crowd (and Harvey himself) sway him into losing the World Series. Mets fans, it might hurt, but the “We Want Harvey” chants might have cost you a look at a World Championship… Put in your closer with a clean inning and force Game Six. Ugh…
Anyhow – now it is hoops, hoops, and more good hoops and I can’t say that makes me sad. Basketball is my favorite sport to write about and handicap and with college right around the corner as well, we are going to have a great winter.
Let’s see if we can start a nice little NBA run.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5 at Houston Rockets (Total: 214)
I know I have stated more than a few times I am not a huge fan of James Harden’s game (admitting, he is excellent) or the make-up of the Rockets roster. However, I do not take particular joy in the horrendous start of both this season. Harden spent a lot of the offseason chattering about deserving the MVP Award and feeling slighted. He has started this season leading his team to three losses while shooting a staggering 22% from the floor. Even KOBE thinks that is inefficient. I imagine he will improve that number tonight because it is nearly impossible not to improve, but I still think he will find himself losing yet another head-to-head MVP showcase against several more deserving candidates. Steph Curry already humbled him, and I think Durant/Westbrook have something in store for he and the Rockets tonight.
OKC is 3-0 on the season and already owns impressive wins over the Spurs and a Game of the year candidate in their double-OT thriller in Orlando. They will face a pretty hungry and desperate team tonight in Houston, which makes this their most interesting test of the season. Are they back in the elite territory after last year’s Lottery-bound Durant-less season? Tonight will be a good indicator. Both teams played last night, so some of the back-to-back concerns are eliminated. I’d even give OKC a slight advantage given the ease with which they handled Denver and the rest it afforded their stars.
Right now, Houston is scuffling and I am not sure they have the offense to keep up with the Thunder. It is possible Harden has a monster bounce-back game and gets 40 on an efficient shooting performance, but it seems unlikely that EITHER Durant or Westbrook won’t match. OKC is suspect on the interior defensively, but with Dwight Howard likely at less than full strength, I am not sure Houston can exploit it enough.
I’ll take the Thunder on the road to take advantage of a scuffling team.