We notched a victory by the narrowest of margins in last night’s Pelican’s 100-91 victory. I understand the line closed to 191 later in the morning, so hopefully some of you were able to line shop and get the win rather than the tough-luck push. Let’s try to look for a little more breathing room in today’s selection.
Speaking of breathing room, there might not be much left in the Thunder’s Injury Reserved locker room. It’s going from bad to disastrously amazingly awful in Oklahoma City. Perry Jones looked fantastic over his last three games and seemed to be emerging as a legitimate NBA scorer and defender and perhaps the missing piece to help Serge Ibaka keep the Thunder afloat while they awaited the return of Durant and Westbrook. Now he looks to be on the shelf as well after injuring his knee in last night’s loss.
If so, things are going to get even worse – to the point I’m not certain the Thunder can recover in 2014. The West is REALLY good, with Houston (who smoked Miami on the road last night) and Memphis getting off to hot starts to join the group with San Antonio, Dallas, Portland (who smoked the Cavs last night) and Golden State, it looks like 48 wins might not be enough to even make the field. If they were to lose another 10 games before Durant and Westbrook return, they’d need to basically go 42-10 down the stretch – a feat even KD and Westbrook may not be up for…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Minnesota Timberwolves at Brooklyn Nets -5
Don’t let the stink of Brooklyn’s opening night embarrassment to Boston linger. This team isn’t a bad one and they are even better now with Brook Lopez back in the fold. Deron Williams has looked good the last few outings, Joe Johnson is a legit NBA scorer, and Lopez is one of the best centers in the NBA when healthy. This is a solid Eastern Conference ballclub. And they are playing at home tonight.
Minnesota has some young talent, but let’s keep the emphasis on “young.” Wiggins, the number one pick in the 2014 draft, is getting some good run at 24+ minutes a game, but is shooting 36% from the floor. That will be the issue most of the season for this young team; figuring out how the pieces fit together and how to get more efficient shots for 48 minutes.
I expect Minny to struggle on the road against a competent, veteran basketball team. Five points is a pretty slim price for the better team at home.