The NBA season rolls on and we go straight in early on this time with a pick in order to try and take advantage of some poor lines early on.
POR Trailblazers -3.5 to beat BOS Celtics @ 1.67 (888Sport) – 3 points
The Portland TrailBlazers are the hottest team in the NBA right now, and have marched on to a 6 game winning 6 straight games, but are still 1-2 away from home, and will be aiming to put that record straight as they take on the struggling Boston Celtics at the Garden.
The only win for the Blazers came so far against Denver where they blasted them for 130 points; and with the Boston Celtics leaking over 108 points per game, in 28th spot in the NBA; the Blazers will feel quite confident against this struggling bunch. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard have shouldered most of the responsibility for this team scoring 21 points a piece in their outings. They both lead in their respective categories of rebounding and assists as well, which shows you the importance placed on them in outings. But what does the Blazers a world of good is the great supporting cast that they have around them with the likes of Batum, Matthews, Lopez, Kaman, Blake, Robinson all contributing at various stages of the game, and any of them could replace the responsibility on a given night to contribute to this teams success. What the Blazers have specifically worked on is improving their defense, keeping their opponents to 95 points per game and thus winning by a differential of 9.2 points.
The Boston Celtics do not know what defense means, and thus have to rely on out-scoring their opponents on a given night, which has not done soo well. They have lost to the good teams like Houston, Dallas, Toronto, Cleveland and Phoenix by close margins then people expect. Primarily because when you have a few good players like Rondo and Green, they are motivating the team to do better and turn up for the bigger games, especially in front of their home crowd.
Due to Boston’s decent form against the bigger teams, I have taken 2 points under the market line as some insurance policy to ensure this spread lands.
GS Warriors -6 to beat OKC Thunder @ 1.66 (Bet365) – 1.5 points
GS Warriors Over 101 points v OKC Thunder @ 1.90 (MarathonBet) – 2.5 points
The Golden State Warriors are coming into this game as the 2nd highest scoring team in the NBA with 108 points. Tonight they take on an OKC team who have been struggling to win, but have been doing a decent job on the defensive end.
The Warriors have surprisingly jumped to being the 3rd best team in the NBA behind Memphis and Toronto, only due to the fact they have played 2 games less than them. The Championship pedigree that Steve Kerr brings to the Warriors is exactly what they need as their biggest improvement has come on the defensive end. They have held their opponents to under 97 points (top 12 in the NBA) and under 41.5% field goals percentage (2nd in the NBA). The improvement in their defense is leading to much more frustration from their opponents, and they are often able to score easily on fast breaks, where they rank no.1 in the NBA with 20.4 points per game, with Boston the next best, 3 points behind.
In the scoring department there is the continued progress of the splash brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as the supporting cast of Barbosa, Livingston and Iguadola are helping them to 3rd spot in the NBA. Thompson has clearly improved his play taking his scoring average from 18 ppg to 22 ppg, while improving his no. of free throws attempted and scored. The Warriors will definitely be a high scoring team as they attempted 18 3-pointers per game, netting around 7 per game on average.
The Warriors will look to take advantage of this struggling OKC Thunder team, who especially tend to lose concentration in the 2nd half, as they drop a lot of games from winning positions; and I think the Warriors should easily be able to cross the 100 point barrier tonight.