Wednesday brings us another really good slate of game in the NBA including a showdown of Western Conference powers in San Antonio. I’m looking at that game as well others in Charlotte and Toronto.
Oklahoma City at San Antonio (-6) – Oklahoma City is tied atop the Western Conference’s Northwest Division with Portland. Each have a record of 31-10. San Antonio leads the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with a 32-9 record.
With those records, I think we’re in for a good game folks.
The Spurs are 17-6 at home while the Thunder come in with a road record of 13-7 and each is over .500 in their last ten games. The Thunder are 6-4 while San Antonio is 8-2.
San Antonio ranks in the top six in the NBA in assists, scoring and points allowed which makes them so darn tough to beat. The Thunder swap the good assist numbers for great rebounding numbers while rivaling the Spurs in the other three areas. I think the Spurs giving six is a sign of the prowess at home but I like the Thunder getting those points.
LA Clippers (-5) at Charlotte – The Clippers continue their East Coast swing by dropping in on Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats. LA is currently ahead of Golden State in the Pacific Division by three games. The Bobcats are 18-25 but would actually be the number eight seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by virtue of winning a tie-breaker over Detroit.
Because they’d be in the playoffs doesn’t mean this is a great team, but you know the fans and ownership in Charlotte would take it in a heartbeat. The Clippers are sitting in fourth right now in the Western Conference but amazingly, they are only 4.5 games up on eight seed Phoenix.
With LA having played three on this trip already and still having three more to go, you have to wonder about mindset right now. This is one of those situations where a good team can falter on a long road trip regardless of competition.
The Clips seem to be catching some fire right now though as they’ve won eight of their last ten and the Bobcats are just 1-7 agsainst the spread in their last eight meetings with the Clippers. The other number working against Charlotte is that Los Angeles is 5-0 straight up against Charlotte and 6-3 straight up against them in their last nine games in North Carolina.
Charlotte does have one thing going for it and that’s defense. The Bobcats are the sixth best scoring defense in the NBA and they’ll need that defense if they hope to knock of Los Angeles who is third in the Association in scoring. Getting five on the road is pretty unique but I think it’s a fair number. Take the Clippers to cover in Charlotte.
Dallas at Toronto (-1) – At 20-20, the Toronto Raptors currently lead the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division by 2.5 games over Brooklyn and by 5.5 games over New York. Unless this team suffers a major collapse, they will make the playoffs.
By contrast, Dallas is seven games over .500 yet would be a seventh seed in the playoffs if they were to start today. I can’t recall a time when the two conferences were so drastically different from each other.
Dallas is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games in Toronto wile the Raptors are 6-1 straight up in their last seven home games. I like the Raptors at home giving the one.