Kind of an up and down start to the regular season as four leans ended up 2-2. We now have a full slate of games to choose from on Tuesday, so let’s see if we can gain a little momentum.
Denver Nuggets vs.
Andre Iguodala returns to Philadelphia after they
somewhat surprisingly shipped him off to Denver in the offseason. The deal was
part of the Dwight Howard-Andrew Bynum four-team swap, but the 76ers will be
missing their main prize as Bynum is out.
I know the 76ers had an excellent preseason without
Bynum, going 6-1, but I don’t feel like they played anyone too challenging.
They beat up on the Knicks, Cavaliers, Magic, Celtics and Nets. The Nuggets
should be able to pose some problems for them as they are a high-flying,
The Nuggets led the NBA with 104.1 points per game last
season and if this is a shootout, that could be a problem for the 76ers, who
prefer a slower, half-court pace. They’ve won five of seven road matchups in
this series, so I’ll take them as a road dog.
NBA Pick: Nugget
Sacramento Kings vs.
Maybe this is the craziest play in my NBA picks for tonight, but I kind of like the
Sacramento Kings as seven-point underdog in this spot. Yes, I know they were
awful on the road last season (6-27) but this is more of a bet against the
Chicago Bulls than it is a vote of confidence for the Kings.
I think a lot of assumptions are being made about the
Bulls that they are good enough to hang with the elite teams in the standings
until Derrick Rose is back. And once he’s back, they’ll be title contenders
once again. I think that’s a lot to ask of a team that’s lost so much.
For starters, the Chicago Bulls are without Rose. Secondly, Luol Deng has a
wrist issue which he’s played through and insists isn’t a problem, but you
never know. Also, when Rose went down last season, the Bulls bench stepped up
to carry the load. Well, that bench has lost Omer Asik, C.J Watson, Ronnie
Brewer and Kyle Korver. Even if the new bench is as good, it might take them
some time to adjust.
The Kings have talked all offseason about the importance
of playing better on the road. I think we’ll see them fight in this game and
keep it close.
NBA Pick: Kings
Houston Rockets vs.
I’m going to take a shot with the Detroit Pistons on
Wednesday night as home-court advantaged proved to be very important to them in
the preseason. I’m expecting that to carry over.
In the preseason, they were 0-4 on the road and scored
just 80 points per game. At home, they were 4-0 and averaged 100.5 points per
game. For such a young team, I expect home-court advantage to be important.
This is also partially a bet-against Houston in this spot
as they just acquired a foundational player four days ago. They shook up their
roster by trading away Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb to get James Harden. That’s
just the latest move on a roster that was completely overhauled in the
offseason. We don’t really know how quickly they’ll gel and how effective
they’ll be when they do.
With that in mind, I’m taking the Pistons.
NBA Pick: Pistons