The NBA season is back tonight, 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.
GS Warriors -5.5 to beat MEM Grizzlies @ 1.70 (888Sport) – 3 points
The Golden State Warriors are looking to continue their great start to the season, where they have gone 8-0. Both teams are coming off a 3 days rest, so they both should be fresh enough to produce a good encounter. The Warriors will be particular happy as this gives Andrew Bogut sufficient time to rest and get back to proper training after his 6 game absence due to a concussion. The Warriors are leading the NBA with 115 points per game being scored and their offence has been led well by Steph Curry who is averaging 32 points per game for the season, and is proving to everyone why he was the MVP last season, by taking his game to the next level. His supporting cast of Green, Barnes, Thompson, Iguadola, Livingston & Barbosa have really chipped in and ensured that the scoring level doesn’t drop no matter who is on the floor. Luke Walton has done well to lead the team, reminding them constantly in timeouts and in training sessions that they are the champions and everyone is out to beat them, and they are the ones who need make a statement and put the pressure on the opposition.
The Grizzlies are honestly struggling. Their offence have depended a lot on their 2 man inside game of Gasol and Randolph; but they have cooled off especially while playing the Warriors. They have lost to them by a minimum of 13 points on their previous 4 attempts, out of which 3 were last year itself. They haven’t stretched the floor with many shooters, which makes their offence extremely predictable for their opponents. The Grizzlies had a chance last time around to beat the Clippers and then dropped off to lose the game. Jeff Green, Beno Udrih, Tony Allen, Barnes and Lee have not contributed anything; and their poor support has seen them drop to 3-5 for the season.
The Warriors dominated them by an embarrassing 50 points last time around; and I definitely think that they can cover the 5.5 points spread tonight.
HOU v BKN – James Harden Over 28 points @ 1.85 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
James Harden is looking forward to facing a team like Brooklyn in order for him to push up his points per game production and helping to lead his team to victory in this game. The Rockets struggled initially, but have built up a 4 game winning streak all led by the scoring touch of Harden that has come back into rhythm. In those 4 games, Harden has scored 37 against OKC; 28 against ORL, 43 against SAC and 47 against LAC. They are all teams who love to attack the ball and do not have much defence in their system in order to contain their opponents.
James Harden will be going up against a struggling Joe Johnson, who has not put up much of a fight on the defensive end with lesser players scoring heavy against him like Middleton (14 points), Bryant (18 points), Schroeder (20 points), Bayless (26 points) and Lee (15 points). Harden will feel extremely confident of getting his shots an even escaping a lot from Johnson for dribble penetration into the paint to score from. He will also aim to continue his run of getting to the line 13 times per game as he has been doing this season. He struggled shooting initially knocking down on average 3 out of his 10 3-point shot attempts; but moved it to knocking down 4 over the last 3 games.
With just 25 points potential coming from 3 points and free throw attempts, it should be easy in my opinion for Harden to go on a scoring run to help his team to win and score over 28 points in this one.
DAL v LAC – Chris Paul Over 17 points @ 1.85 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
Chris Paul has been silently accumulating numbers that is once again getting him back to being the top point guard in the NBA. Before he got injured with a groin strain, he had been easily averaging 17 points per game. He then had a night off and scored 14 points against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Tonight however, I expect Chris Paul to get back to his usual self. Why? Because he loves facing his rival Deron Williams. Williams used to play at en elite level with him, but over the last few years; his level has dropped down, and he looks like he will continue to struggle. Chris Paul has scored 20 points in his last 3 match ups against Deron Williams when he used to play for the Nets. Paul this season is going to the line more often as he has players like Stephenson and Pierce who can handle the ball to give him more opportunities to score.
Tonight also there will be a lot of pressure on DeAndre Jordan also coming into Dallas and is expected to get a hostile reception; it may need Chris Paul to take the pressure of Jordan as the team captain to put the points in the board, and let Jordan focus on defence.
Paul to score 17 points should be a realistic possibility considering the Mavericks have been playing really bad and giving up over 43 points in the paint over the last 4 games, as Paul likes to use the screens to take shots as the defenders will be worried about the Griffin-Jordan threat inside.
BOS v IND – PAUL George Over 23.5 points @ 1.85 (888Sport) – 2 points
Then came the last 4 games where George has averaged 28 points per game. What was even more significant it came against 2 good defenders in Deng and LeBron James as well as against Harris from Orlando and the same Boston team that they face tonight.
When George players the 3 spot to his prime like has been doing over the last 4 games, he is surely in the zone and can be definitely be considered in that MVP caliber category. George has improved over the last 3 games because he has got to the line 8 times per game as compared to an average of 4 times per game. That tells you he is trying to score more high percentage shots for the season. He has also increased his 3 point attempts from 4 to 7; and that has slightly improved his average to knocking down a minimum of 3 per game. As the primary offensive weapon in this team, his team mates are always looking for him, as a result he attempts a team high 20 shots per game, knocking down around 9.
Tonight he takes on a young Boston team who don’t play much defence at home, and against whom he exploded back into life with a 26 point performance to win the game by 2 points just over a week ago. I expect George to once again lead his team and produce a similar scoring performance like has done over the last 4 games and net at least 24 points in this game.
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