We notched a winner last night as the Miami Heat pulled away exactly as predicted, turning a close win (that never felt real close) into a blowout in the late third and fourth quarter. Philadelphia is going to have a lot of games like that as their limited depth and inexperience can’t last a full 48 minutes. Chris Bosh looked awesome once again, and although a two-game sample size is pretty small, he looks even better than the guy who was a perennial All-Star in Toronto. Kevin Love will likely start at PF for the Eastern Conference All-Stars but don’t be surprised if Bosh’s numbers are dead even with Love at the end of the year (except a few rebounds lower).
Meanwhile, out West the Mavericks went into New Orleans and got a big win, looking incredibly offensively potent in the process. Anthony Davis was brilliant, but Eric Gordon threw up a bagel in a fantastic illustration of why AD can’t be a legit MVP candidate quite yet. He’s amazing. His team is not good around him.
Oh, and the Lakers got housed in San Fran to become the league’s only 0-4 team in the first week of the season. Welcome back Kobe!
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Today’s Free Pick:
Golden State Warriors at Portland Trailblazers -3 (Total: 205.5)
The Warriors cruised to an easy win last night in LA, as both Curry and Thompson hung 30+ on the hapless Lakers including a career-high 39 points from the newly-extended Clay Thompson. Tonight however, the pre-game shoot around is over and they face a legitimate NBA foe in a difficult road test on the bask-end of a back-to-back.
Oddly, the road team has won four of the last six games in this head-to-head matchup, but this would be the first where one of the winners was on game two of a two-game stretch. Portland has been very good at home, going 31-10 last season in the Rose Garden. Meanwhile, the Warriors shooting display cooled a bit on the road as they went just 24-17 – still a respectable road record for sure, but not quite as magical. David Lee is day-to-day with a nagging injury and could very well be out tonight. That will severely limit their interior defensive depth trying to slow down one of the best PF’s in the business, LaMarcus Alderidge.
It’ll be fun to watch Damian Lillard and Steph Curry lock up, and Nicolas Batum could very well find it rough going against defensive stalwart Andre Iguodala. However, I’ll take the Blazers at home with an extra day of rest to get the win in an entertaining ballgame.