Before we get to a few of tonight’s games I need to discuss a few of the moves that have already been made in the National Basketball Association prior to the trade deadline.
I have to believe the move that will create the biggest impact is the one done between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. The Pacers shipped out nine-year veteran Danny Granger who has missed over 100 games the last couple of seasons with leg and knee issues.
The Sixers will also get a 2015 second round pick along with Granger.
For their part of the deal, Indiana gets Evan Turner and center Lavoy Allen, but without question, Turner is the major piece of this move. He brings his 17 points per game average to Indiana and immediately gives them another scoring threat which they desperately need to match their defensive abilities.
Another key factor which applies to both teams is that they both significantly help their own salary caps. Indiana lowers theirs a bit while the 76ers, along with other moves, have put themselves in position to be major players in free agency.
It’s extremely possible they could add two very large contracts and still have enough to build around that nucleus. The ultimate question of course centers on whether or not Philadelphia is a ‘destination’ city. LeBron James didn’t pick Miami just because of Heat after all….
On to tonight’s games…
Brooklyn (+6.5) at Golden State – The Nets continue their road trip out west by visiting Golden State who sits in the seventh spot just a half game ahead of Dallas. Brooklyn is just 5-5 over their last ten but did make a move in an effort to stay in the top eight in the Eastern Conference. The Nets acquired Marcus Thornton from Sacramento for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans.
The Warriors have won two straight out of the All-Star break and can’t afford to stumble in the competitive Western Conference playoff race. Golden State is 17-10 at home while the Nets are well below .500 on the road. Six and a half is a lot to give but I like the Warriors to cover.
Memphis (-2) at Charlotte – The Grizzlies are streaking at the right time as they are on the cusp of entering the top eight out West. They’ve won four straight and are 7-3 over their last ten ball games. Also streaking a bit is Charlotte who has won three straight and is also winners of seven of their last ten.
Memphis is one game behind Dallas for the eighth spot while the Bobcats have gotten themselves into the seventh spot in the East. The thing to look at here is the road record of Memphis (15-9) vs. the home record of Charlotte (14-14). Despite giving two points away from home, the Grizzlies impressive play on the road has me liking them to cover tonight in Charlotte.
Dallas (-3) at Detroit – There was a lot of expectation that the Detroit Pistons would welcome a new coach after the firing of Maurice Cheeks and would go on a run. Well, they’ve gone on a run alright it’s just that its’ of the losing variety. The Pistons are 5-5 in their last ten games and have dropped three straight.
Dallas has worked itself into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference but is just a game ahead of Memphis who has won three straight. The Mavs have been a pretty good road team at 14-14 while the Pistons are five games below .500 at the Palace. I like Dallas to cover.