The NBA boasts a small three-game slate today, but two of the games should provide interesting headlines, as new Laker coach Mike D’Antoni is expected to make his debut today in a game against the Brooklyn Nets and the Knicks will look to improve to an Eastern Conference best 8-1 record as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Hornets. Here is a quick look at each of those match-ups.
Brooklyn Nets 6-2 at Los Angeles Lakers 5-5
Since dumping head coach Mike Brown after an 0-4 start to the season, the worst start for the franchise in 34 years, the Lakers have managed to climb back to .500, going 5-1 in their last six contests. Although those wins have come under the interim coaching staff, new-hire Mike D’Antoni’s presence is already beginning to be felt, as he has been leading practices this past week and installing his fast-tempo offense that has already been producing more points for the Lakers, as the team is now averaging more than 100 points per game this season.
Today, D’Antoni makes his official debut as the LA coach against a tough Brooklyn Nets team, whose youthful energy has guided them to a 6-2 record so far this year. The new-look Nets are off to their best start since the 2002-2003 season, when they made an appearance in the NBA Finals.
The Lakers will still be without Steve Nash, who has missed most of the season so far with a small fracture in his leg, but I still like how the Lakers are playing and shooting. The coaching staff has them loose and simply playing ball, letting the talent shine without holding players back. However, Brooklyn is also playing extremely well, so I expect a very close contest tonight. Take Brooklyn to cover +6.5 points in a loss tonight.
New York Knicks 7-1 at New Orleans Hornets 3-5
The Knicks’s first lost of the season didn’t seem to phase them, as they quickly rebounded against the Indiana Pacers 88-76 on Sunday. Now at 7-1, they are in sole possession of the best record in the East and are just a half game worse than Memphis (the one team they lost to) for the best record in the league. Now they enter a thee-game road trip, starting with the Hornets.
After starting strong, the Hornets have been headed in the opposite direction, dropping their last three. Anthony Davis is playing as well as the Hornets could have hoped so far, but the young team continues to display their inexperience, committing too many turnovers and failing to defend the basket.
Expect the Knicks to take full advantage of the Hornets’ weaknesses tonight en route to their eighth win of the year by covering the -6.5 point spread tonight.