Happy Friday. It’s the weekend. We kept things rolling last night with a 2-1 mark for our second straight day in the green. The Mavs (barely) got the job done against the Nets, and the Warriors took care of business against the Heat. The Kings didn’t get their first win against the Grizzlies, but you can’t win them all. Let’s keep it rolling tonight. First, some thoughts on yesterday’s action –
- Luka Doncic is really good at basketball. 41, 14, and 11 is something else. On the other hand, we talked the other day about his usage being way too high. His usage percentage going into last night would have placed second all-time if he carried it over a full season, and we need to go all the way down to 45th to find the first season on that list in which a player won a title (MJ in ’93). After last night, Doncic (temporarily) has the highest single-season usage percentage of all-time. Christian Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Tim Hardaway Jr are all good offensive players, but they’re not the 2-4 options on a championship team. The Mavs don’t have enough high-level firepower alongside Luka.
- The Nets are 1-4, and they continue to get a ton of points from Kyrie and KD and not a whole lot else. The offense is mediocre given that it’s fully dependent on two players, ranking 18th in offensive rating. The defense is horrendous, ranking dead last in defensive rating. Brooklyn is really bad right now.
- The Clippers aren’t off to the greatest start in the world. They’ve narrowly beaten the Kings and Lakers, two teams with a combined record of 0-8. Then they were crushed by the Suns and lost twice to the Thunder. Kawhi hasn’t played much, and, in a shocking twist, the offense is struggling just like it did last year. The pieces are theoretically there for the Clips, but there’s still a ways to go before they put them together.
- Desmond Bane is on a tear after some early struggles, and the Grizzlies raced out to a win over the Kings last night. This was the first Kings loss where they never really had a shot in the fourth, and there are few teams better than Memphis. So 0-4 might not be as bad as it seems. But it’s still 0-4, and it’s surely a discouraging start for a team that’s looking to make some strides this year. Sacramento gets the Heat at home tomorrow. A win would be nice.
- Speaking of the Heat, they’re 2-4 and throughly uninspiring. It’s hard to see Miami posing a serious threat.
NBA record: 13-9 ATS, 1-5 ML, 2-2 O/U, 0-0 parlay, 0-1 props, -2.54 units
- Cavs +6.5
This is a decent chunk of points. Cleveland has looked really good so far with Donovan Mitchell in tow; they’re playing strong basketball on both sides of the court. Boston, meanwhile, has struggled a bit defensively. They’ve yet to win a game by more than 9 points. I’ll take two possessions with the Cavs here.
- Wizards -5
The Wizards won by 7 in Indiana in the season opener; they can cover 5 in Washington. The Pacers have lost three of five games by 7+. The Wizards have taken care of business against inferior teams so far. I like Washington here.
- Timberwolves -7.5
It’s National Bet Against the Lakers Year.
- Bucks-Knicks U223.5
The Bucks have a stifling defense, a struggling offense, and the ability to control how a game is played. These two don’t get to 224 tonight.
- Jazz +8.5
This line carries so much disrespect. We stand with the 4-1 Jazz tonight. They’ve already beaten the Nuggets, who have just one win of more than 5 points on the season.