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Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: The Sixers limp out of the gate and look disjointed on the defensive end, but thanks to MVP-level play from Embiid and Simmons, they manage to stay afloat. Meanwhile, the consensus 1st overall pick looks lost on the court while shooting like Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly, then gets shut down to see a specialist for a mysterious injury. No, this isn’t Groundhog Day – it’s the 2017-18 season all over again. Also familiar? Playing a lottery-bound Knicks team as double digit favorites!
The Lakers lineup looks a little bit different than in their meeting with the Nuggets earlier this year. Brandon Ingram was suspended last time, and it was Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma filling in his minutes that made the difference in the game. The jury is still out on Brandon Ingram’s potential, but he’s not really a guy that Denver has an answer for defensively; he’s too quick for Millsap and too long for Gary Harris. Do the Lakers have the matchup advantage if not the better team? KC breaks down this game and offers his NBA pick.
The situation on the court is nearly as bad as the one off of it. Washington sits at 18th in Offensive Rating and 29th in Defensive Rating with a 7-12 record and 11th in the Eastern Conference – and we’re not even sure those numbers are a poor enough representation of the team. One thing to note is that slotting Kelly Oubre Jr. into the starting lineup to allow Otto Porter to play the power forward position has done wonders for Porter. Can the Wizards moves help them stay within 4 points? KC has his NBA prediction.
Welcome to your feel good story of the year. Ever since Chris Paul landed in Los Angeles, the Clippers had a bad attitude. Watching a team bitch and moan for every push and pull created a toxic environment that seeped into their fandom, and things got ugly there for a while. Now that the Donald Sterling skeletons have been completely excavated from the premises, Steve Ballmer has allowed The Logo Jerry West to craft a roster in a Moneyball-esque way. The Clippers lack of a conventional superstar is the exact reason for their success. The bookies have the Clips at +4 here and Kyle expects a close game… which a superstar usually closes out.
After a searing start that left people second-guessing their pre-season predictions, the Spurs crashed back down to Earth. Winning only 3 of their last 10 games, it’s about time for Popp’s team to get back on track. Ten days ago, San Antonio was in position for home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs; now, they’re in position for a seat in between Atlanta and Phoenix at the NBA Draft Lottery presentation. When was the last time sportsbooks had given the Spurs 10 points? KC breaks down the Spurs chances with his NBA pick.
Over the course of their win streak, the Rockets have been able to get back to their old ways. Harden is averaging 33 points per game, Clint Capela has been a two-way monster, and the rest of the system is running beautifully. Against Detroit, Houston is going to do what they always do: shoot a lot of threes, and get to the line as much as possible. But can they keep the Pistons off the boards enough to cover the bookmaker’s line of -4.5? KC has today’s NBA prediction.
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