Cnotes 2017 NBA Best Bets-Trends-News Thru Playoffs !

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  • #466907

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    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]
    Long Sheet

    Monday, December 4[/B]

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]NEW YORK (11 – 11) at INDIANA (12 – 11) – 12/4/2017, 7:05 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    NEW YORK is 6-2 against the spread versus INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
    INDIANA is 4-4 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 8 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]ORLANDO (10 – 14) at CHARLOTTE (8 – 13) – 12/4/2017, 7:05 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    ORLANDO is 44-60 ATS (-22.0 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    ORLANDO is 12-25 ATS (-15.5 Units) versus poor defensive teams – allowing 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    CHARLOTTE is 7-2 against the spread versus ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
    CHARLOTTE is 8-1 straight up against ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
    6 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]PHOENIX (8 – 16) at PHILADELPHIA (13 – 9) – 12/4/2017, 7:05 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    PHILADELPHIA is 15-7 ATS (+7.3 Units) in all games this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 2 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 33-18 ATS (+13.2 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 15-7 ATS (+7.3 Units) in the first half of the season this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 19-6 ATS (+12.4 Units) against Pacific division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 29-12 ATS (+15.8 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 32-17 ATS (+13.3 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 29-12 ATS (+15.8 Units) versus good offensive teams – scoring 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    PHOENIX is 159-116 ATS (+31.4 Units) after allowing 115 points or more since 1996.
    PHILADELPHIA is 39-69 ATS (-36.9 Units) in home games in December games since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PHILADELPHIA is 3-1 against the spread versus PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
    PHILADELPHIA is 3-1 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]MILWAUKEE (12 – 9) at BOSTON (20 – 4) – 12/4/2017, 7:35 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    MILWAUKEE is 52-96 ATS (-53.6 Units) after 3 or more consecutive wins since 1996.
    MILWAUKEE is 426-514 ATS (-139.4 Units) versus good defensive teams – allowing <=98 points/game since 1996.
    BOSTON is 18-5 ATS (+12.5 Units) in all games this season.
    BOSTON is 18-5 ATS (+12.5 Units) in the first half of the season this season.
    BOSTON is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    MILWAUKEE is 130-95 ATS (+25.5 Units) in road games against Atlantic division opponents since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BOSTON is 5-4 against the spread versus MILWAUKEE over the last 3 seasons
    BOSTON is 6-3 straight up against MILWAUKEE over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 8 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]BROOKLYN (8 – 14) at ATLANTA (5 – 17) – 12/4/2017, 7:35 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    BROOKLYN is 17-7 ATS (+9.3 Units) in road games revenging a home loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BROOKLYN is 5-4 against the spread versus ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
    ATLANTA is 5-4 straight up against BROOKLYN over the last 3 seasons
    9 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]CLEVELAND (16 – 7) at CHICAGO (3 – 18) – 12/4/2017, 8:05 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    CLEVELAND is 3-14 ATS (-12.4 Units) as a favorite this season.
    CLEVELAND is 15-28 ATS (-15.8 Units) vs. division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
    CLEVELAND is 18-33 ATS (-18.3 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.
    CHICAGO is 156-120 ATS (+24.0 Units) after 3 or more consecutive losses since 1996.
    CHICAGO is 4-13 ATS (-10.3 Units) in December games over the last 2 seasons.
    CHICAGO is 265-323 ATS (-90.3 Units) in the first half of the season since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    CHICAGO is 8-1 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
    CHICAGO is 7-2 straight up against CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]MINNESOTA (14 – 10) at MEMPHIS (7 – 15) – 12/4/2017, 8:05 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    MINNESOTA is 18-32 ATS (-17.2 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
    MINNESOTA is 17-29 ATS (-14.9 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    MEMPHIS is 5-3 against the spread versus MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
    MEMPHIS is 5-3 straight up against MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
    6 of 8 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]GOLDEN STATE (18 – 6) at NEW ORLEANS (12 – 11) – 12/4/2017, 8:05 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    GOLDEN STATE is 5-4 against the spread versus NEW ORLEANS over the last 3 seasons
    GOLDEN STATE is 9-0 straight up against NEW ORLEANS over the last 3 seasons
    6 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]DENVER (13 – 9) at DALLAS (6 – 17) – 12/4/2017, 8:35 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    DENVER is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
    DALLAS is 29-48 ATS (-23.8 Units) in home games versus good offensive teams – scoring 106+ points/game since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    DENVER is 4-3 against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
    DALLAS is 4-4 straight up against DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 7 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]DETROIT (14 – 8) at SAN ANTONIO (15 – 8) – 12/4/2017, 8:35 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    SAN ANTONIO is 1016-888 ATS (+39.2 Units) in all games since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 813-691 ATS (+52.9 Units) as a favorite since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 518-433 ATS (+41.7 Units) in home games since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 24-8 ATS (+15.2 Units) in December games over the last 3 seasons.
    SAN ANTONIO is 55-32 ATS (+19.8 Units) in the first half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
    SAN ANTONIO is 338-278 ATS (+32.2 Units) in non-conference games since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    SAN ANTONIO is 4-0 against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
    SAN ANTONIO is 4-0 straight up against DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]WASHINGTON (12 – 10) at UTAH (12 – 11) – 12/4/2017, 9:05 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    UTAH is 3-1 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
    UTAH is 3-1 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    #466909

    cnotes
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    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]
    Armadillo’s Write-Up

    Monday, December 4[/B]

    New York won four of its last five games with Indiana; they’re 2-2 vs spread in last four visits here. Five of last seven series games stayed under the total. Knicks lost four of their last five games; they’re 1-5 vs spread as a road underdog. Six of their last eight games stayed under. Indiana lost three of last four game; they’re 4-1 as home faves. Three of their last four games went over the total.

    Charlotte won its last eight games with Orlando (7-1 vs spread); Magic is 1-4 vs spread in last five visits here. Three of their last four games went over the total. Orlando lost 10 of its last 12 games; they’re 5-6-1 as road underdogs. Six of their last seven games went over the total. Charlotte lost its last four games; they’re 6-1 as a home favorite. Over is 5-2 in their last seven home games.

    76ers won three of their last four games with Phoenix; six of last seven series games went over. Suns are 3-2 vs spread in last five visits to Philly. Phoenix lost five of its last six games; they’re 5-4 as a road underdog. Seven of their last nine games went over the total. 76ers won five of their last seven games; they’re 5-3 vs spread as home favorites. Five of their last seven games stayed under.

    Celtics won seven of last ten games with Milwaukee; over is 5-2-1 in last eight series games. Bucks are 3-2 vs spread in last five visits to Beantown. Milwaukee won four of its last five games; they’re 3-4 vs spread as road underdogs. Four of their last five games went over the total. Celtics won 20 of their last 22 games; they’re 6-3-1 as home favorites. Seven of their last eight games went over.

    Hawks beat Brooklyn at home Saturday, their first series win in last four tries; Atlanta is 2-3 vs spread in last five visits here. Under is 9-0-1 in last ten series games. Brooklyn lost five of its last seven games; they covered their last seven games as road underdogs. Three of their last four games stayed under. Hawks lost five of their last seven games; they’re 5-5 vs spread at home, 1-0 as a home favorite. Eight of their last nine home games went over.

    Bulls won five of last six games with Cleveland; over is 4-2 in those six games. Cavaliers are 2-3 vs spread in last five visits to the Windy City. Cleveland won its last 11 games; they’re 3-4 vs spread as road favorites. Under is 4-2-1 in their last seven games. Chicago lost its last eight games (2-5-1 vs spread); they’re 4-4 vs spread as home underdogs. Under is 7-2 in Bulls home games.

    Memphis lost its last 11 games; they’re 1-3 as home underdogs. Six of their last eight games stayed under the total. Grizzlies won three of last four games with Minnesota; seven of last nine series games went over. Wolves are 1-3 vs spread in last four visits to Tennessee. Minnesota is 4-5 in its last nine games; they’re 2-1-1 as a road favorite. Six of their last eight games went over total.

    Golden State won its last 10 games with New Orleans, but Pelicans covered four of last six; six of their last eight games went over the total. Golden State won seven of its last nine games; they’re 6-7 vs spread as road favorites. Over is 4-1-1 in their last six games. New Orleans lost three of its last four games; they’re 3-0 vs spread as a home underdog. Last three Pelican games went over the total.

    Denver won its last three games with Dallas; Nuggets are 1-3-1 vs spread in last five visits here (under 3-2). Denver won three of its last four games; they’re 0-4 vs spread as road underdogs. Four of their last five games stayed under the total. Dallas is 4-7 in its last 11 games; they’re 2-3 as home favorites. Six of their last nine games stayed under the total.

    Spurs won/covered their last five games with Detroit; four of those five games stayed under the total. Pistons are 2-3 vs spread in last five visits to the Alamo. Detroit won three of its last four road games; they’re 7-2 as road underdogs. Seven of their last nine games stayed under the total. San Antonio won four of its last five games; they’re 6-4 as home favorites. Seven of their last ten games stayed under the total.

    Jazz won their last three games with Washington; under is 8-2 in last ten series games. Wizards are 2-3 vs spread in last five visits to Utah. Washington is 3-5 in its last eight games; they’re 8-3 vs spread on road, 7-2 as an underdog. Under is 11-3 in their last 14 games. Utah won its last five games; they’re 6-5 vs spread as home favorites. Three of their last four games went over total.

    #466911

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    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]

    Monday, December 4[/B]

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    [SIZE=”3″][B][I][B] Trend Report [/B][/I][/B][/SIZE]
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    [B]NEW YORK @ INDIANA[/B]
    New York is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
    New York is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
    Indiana is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against New York
    Indiana is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games when playing at home against New York

    [B]ORLANDO @ CHARLOTTE[/B]
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Orlando’s last 7 games
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Orlando’s last 5 games on the road
    Charlotte is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Orlando
    Charlotte is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Orlando

    [B]PHOENIX @ PHILADELPHIA[/B]
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Phoenix’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Phoenix’s last 7 games when playing Philadelphia
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games when playing at home against Phoenix
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Philadelphia’s last 7 games when playing Phoenix

    [B]BROOKLYN @ ATLANTA[/B]
    The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Brooklyn’s last 10 games when playing Atlanta
    Brooklyn is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Atlanta’s last 10 games when playing Brooklyn
    Atlanta is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Brooklyn

    [B]MILWAUKEE @ BOSTON[/B]
    Milwaukee is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Milwaukee’s last 5 games
    Boston is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games at home
    Boston is 20-2 SU in its last 22 games

    [B]CLEVELAND @ CHICAGO[/B]
    Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Chicago is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Cleveland
    The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Chicago’s last 14 games at home

    [B]MINNESOTA @ MEMPHIS[/B]
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Memphis
    Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Memphis’s last 5 games at home
    Memphis is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Minnesota

    [B]GOLDEN STATE @ NEW ORLEANS[/B]
    Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
    Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans
    New Orleans is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Golden State
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans’s last 8 games when playing Golden State

    [B]DENVER @ DALLAS[/B]
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Denver’s last 13 games on the road
    Dallas is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Denver
    Dallas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games

    [B]DETROIT @ SAN ANTONIO[/B]
    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Detroit’s last 8 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit’s last 5 games when playing San Antonio
    San Antonio is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Detroit
    San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Detroit

    [B]WASHINGTON @ UTAH[/B]
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Washington’s last 7 games when playing Utah
    The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Washington’s last 14 games
    Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
    Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

    #466912

    cnotes
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    [B][SIZE=5]NBA[/SIZE]

    Monday, December 4[/B]

    [B]Knicks: Neither Kristaps Porzingis (ankle, illness) or Tim Hardaway Jr. traveled with the team to Monday’s game @ Indiana. Both players OUT.
    Both missed Sunday’s 105-100 loss at home to Magic.

    Line just released at Pacers -10[/B]

    #466913

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    [B][I]Monday’s NBA Essentials
    December 4, 2017[/I][/B]
    [B]
    Game of the Night – Washington at Utah, (AT&T Rocky Mountain, 9:35 ET)[/B]

    Utah center Rudy Gobert has recovered faster than expected from a bone bruise in his leg that was originally supposed to sideline him until mid-month. Instead, he practiced for the first time on Sunday and was upgraded to questionable for tonight’s home game against Washington.

    The Jazz aren’t going to put his knee at risk, so there’s certainly a chance he won’t suit up against the Wizards, but the expectation is that he’ll be back before the week is up. Monitor his status throughout the day but the expectation is that he’ll be a true game-time decision who will play if there are no setbacks throughout the day. As of Monday morning, the line was off the board.

    Despite missing the presence of the top defensive center in the game, Utah has gone 7-4 in the 11 games he’s missed, winning and covering the last five in succession. Still, it’s not like they can’t use his 7-foot-9 wingspan. In addition to Gobert going down, the team has dealt with long-term injuries to Joe Johnson and Dante Exum and most recently have seen Rodney Hood (ankle) and Raul Neto (hamstring) miss time, which is why they’ve been favored only once during their current winning streak. Utah has moved within 1.5 games of Denver and Minnesota for the Northwest Division lead and will play at last-place Oklahoma City on Tuesday before hosting Houston in the second half of a nationally-televised doubleheader on Thursday, so this is a huge week for the team’s fortunes.

    Hood is presumably returning soon too, perhaps as soon as Monday night, so the hope is that the Jazz will have their depth restored prior to leaving for a season-long six-game road trip that won’t see them play another home game for two weeks after they host the Rockets. With Derrick Favors imposing his will with more opportunities in the post and rookie Donovan Mitchell scoring 41 points to open December with a 114-108 win over New Orleans, the Jazz are seeing contributors pop up who will have to remain in major roles even with Gobert and Hood returning.

    Favors has averaged 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds since moving into Gobert’s spot at center, while Mitchell has averaged over 26 points per game over the last four games. Alec Burks added 24 points getting some of Hood’s minutes against the Pelicans, so the Jazz are certainly serving notice that they’ve got a lot of quality depth and will be more of a threat than most expected would be upon losing Gordon Hayward to Boston via free agency.

    Washington’s depth has also been tested without star point guard John Wall, who has missed the last four games due to a knee injury suffered Nov. 7 and is expected to be out another week or two. The Wizards have gone 2-2 as Bradley Beal has taken on more of a playmaking responsibilities. He caught an elbow to the eye last week in a loss to Philadelphia but played last Friday in a 109-91 rout over the Pistons that was keyed by Markieff Morris scoring 23 points and little-known wing Tomas Satoransky adding 17 off the bench. This opens a five-game road trip for the Wiz, who head to Portland post-game for the second night of a back-to-back.

    The Jazz have won three straight games in this series, holding Washington to an average of 91 points. The Wizards had won four consecutive games from 2014-16 before their recent struggles, which have been punctuated by 20-for-63 3-point shooting in the three losses. They’ve only won once in their last six trips to Salt Lake City, claiming an 88-84 victory in March 2015. The under has prevailed in 11 of the last 14 Washington games.

    [B]
    Injury Concerns[/B]

    New York lost at home to Orlando on Sunday without Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) and Tim Hardaway, Jr. (leg) and won’t have them available for Monday night’s visit to Indiana. Porzingis didn’t travel with the team, while Hardaway is undergoing tests to determine the cause of soreness in his shins.

    Hornets point guard Kemba Walker practiced over the weekend and is expected to return for Monday’s game against Orlando after overcoming a shoulder injury. Charlotte lost at Toronto and Miami without him and has dropped four straight, going 3-10 over its last 13.

    Suns center Alex Len missed Saturday night’s game due to an ankle injury that has limited him, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll be available to toil against Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. 76ers backup point guard T.J. McConnell is dealing with a sore shoulder but may be available.

    Atlanta lost promising rookie John Collins (shoulder) to a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder that’s expected to cost him two weeks. With starting center Dewayne Dedmon (tibia) out at least a month and Mike Muscala dealing with an ankle injury, the Hawks will start Miles Plumlee next to power forward Ersan Ilyasova and will give undrafted rookie Tyler Cavanaugh minutes off the bench. The Hawks just beat the Nets in Brooklyn on Saturday night, prevailing 114-102.

    Memphis has gone 0-10 with point guard Mike Conley out of the lineup, and the point guard remains sidelined indefinitely as he tries to heal his Achilles. Forwards Brandan Wright (groin) and Chandler Parsons (ankle) will join wing Wayne Selden (quad) in sitting out Monday’s home date against the Wolves, who are playing a back-to-back after holding off the Clippers on Sunday. Center Marc Gasol (foot) should play.

    New Orleans will be missing star forward Anthony Davis as he continues to try and heal up from a pelvis injury suffered last week. Andre Iguodala (knee) is expected to play after getting Sunday off in Miami, and it remains to be seen whether Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant, each of whom has been banged up of late, will be held out or participate in a back-to-back. Shaun Livingston, who was ejected for making contact with official Courtney Kirkland in South Florida, will get the night off against the Pelicans.

    The Nuggets have been extremely unlucky, losing Paul Millsap for weeks due to a wrist injury and seeing center Nikola Jokic turn an ankle last week. He’s out for tonight’s visit to Dallas. Forward Wilson Chandler is nursing a back injury and may also be out against the Mavs.

    Spurs forward Kyle Anderson couldn’t put any weight on his knee in leaving the court in Oklahoma City last night and is believed to have sprained his MCL. With Kawhi Leonard still out another week or two, Rudy Gay could get a lot of minutes in Detroit if he can overcome a heel issue and crack the lineup. LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker all sat against the Thunder and should be fresh as the Pistons come to town.
    [B]
    Head-to-Head Trends[/B]

    The Bucks and Celtics will be playing for the third time this season, splitting a pair of games played in October. Milwaukee spoiled the debut of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in Boston in the game where Hayward was lost for the season with his horrific ankle injury. The Celtics won in Milwaukee the next week and have won five of the last seven in the series.

    The Bulls had won seven of nine against the Cavs entering the season, but were defeated 119-112 in Game 3 and now welcome in Dwyane Wade for his first visit since bolting after last year’s rocky one-year experiment. Chicago has won the last four meetings against the Cavs at United Center.

    The Spurs look for a sixth straight win against the Pistons, who last won in San Antonio in 2015. All five of the Spurs’ wins have come by 10 or more points. Detroit has dropped six of its last seven at AT&T Center.

    #466914

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    [B][I]PG Derrick Rose returns to Cavaliers
    December 4, 2017[/I][/B]

    CLEVELAND (AP) Derrick Rose ended his self-imposed separation from the Cavaliers.

    The point guard, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle for much of his first season with Cleveland, returned to the Cavs on Monday to resume rehab and treatment. A frustrated Rose had left the team on Nov. 22 to contemplate his future, but he’s back and working toward a return to the floor.

    Rose had been in contact with coach Tyronn Lue and general manager Koby Altman in recent days. The conversations were described as ”positive,” and the team said he will report to its Cleveland Clinic Courts training facility.

    There is no timetable on when he’ll play.

    ”This has been a very challenging and difficult time for Derrick,” Altman said. ”We will continue to provide him with support and have patience as he re-joins his teammates and works his way back on to the court.”

    Rose, whose career has been dogged by serious knee injuries, initially hurt his ankle on Oct. 20 in Milwaukee. He’s made seven starts and is averaging 14.3 points and 26.9 minutes with the Cavs, who signed him to a one-year, $2.1 million free-agent contract this summer.

    The three-time defending Eastern Conference champions anticipated using Rose as a backup to Isaiah Thomas. However, with Thomas continuing to recover from a hip injury, Rose was thrust into the starting lineup to start the season and showed flashes of his All-Star form while dealing with the sore ankle.

    Rose’s minutes could be affected going forward. Thomas is expected to return in the next few weeks and Dwyane Wade has been playing well running the point for Cleveland’s second unit.

    The Cavs have won 11 straight heading into their game Monday night in Chicago. Rose spent seven seasons with the Bulls.

    The 28-year-old has averaged 19.4 points, 5.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds since being taken as the No. 1 overall pick in 2008.

    #466915

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    [B][I]Hoop Trends – Monday
    December 4, 2017[/I][/B]

    [B]
    ATS TREND OF THE DAY:[/B]

    — The Grizzlies are 13-0 ATS (8.08 ppg) after a game in which they had 30-plus assists.

    [B]OU TREND OF THE DAY:[/B]

    — The Timberwolves are 16-0 OU (16.06 ppg) as a road favorite off a win in which they scored at least 25% of their points from free throws.

    [B]PLAYER TREND OF THE DAY:[/B]

    — The Cavaliers are 10-0-1 OU (12.50 ppg) as a 8+ point favorite after Lebron James had more than 30 points last game.
    [B]
    CHOICE TREND:[/B]

    — The Magic are 0-11 ATS (-12.59 ppg) after a win in which they made fewer field goals than their opponent.
    [B]
    ACTIVE TRENDS:
    [/B]
    — The Nuggets are 13-0 OU (15.35 ppg) as a dog after they scored fewer than ten fast break points last game.

    — The Grizzlies are 8-0 OU (11.38 ppg) as a dog after Marc Gasol played more than 40 minutes last game.

    #466917

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    [B][I]Pelicans: Davis has no structural damage, status day to day
    December 4, 2017[/I][/B]

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Pelicans say magnetic resonance imaging of star forward Anthony Davis’ injured pelvic area has not revealed any structural damage.

    The club says Davis has been diagnosed with an abductor strain and will miss Monday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

    Beyond that, the club says Davis’ status will be ”day to day.”

    The 6-foot-10 Davis, who has been an All-Star the past four years, has played in 21 games this season, averaging 25.2 points, 11 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

    He was injured last Friday night in the Pelicans’ loss at Utah and did not play Saturday night in Portland, when the Pelicans defeated the Trail Blazers.

    The Pelicans also have upcoming home games against Denver on Wednesday, Sacramento on Friday and Philadelphia on Sunday.

    #467069

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    [B][I]MONDAY, DECEMBER 4
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS[/I][/B]

    NY at IND 07:00 PM
    [B]NY +10.5[/B]

    PHO at PHI 07:00 PM
    [B]PHI -10.5
    O 227.0[/B]

    ORL at CHA 07:00 PM
    [B]CHA -7.5[/B]

    BK at ATL 07:30 PM
    BK +1.0
    [B]O 221.5[/B]

    MIL at BOS 07:30 PM
    [B]BOS -4.5[/B]

    MIN at MEM 08:00 PM
    MIN -2.5

    GS at NO 08:00 PM
    [B]GS -9.0
    U 228.0[/B]

    CLE at CHI 08:00 PM
    [B]CLE -8.5[/B]

    DET at SA 08:30 PM
    [B]SA -4.0
    U 200.5[/B]

    DEN at DAL 08:30 PM
    DEN +2.5

    WAS at UTA 09:00 PM
    [B]WAS +4.0
    O 198.0[/B]

    #467135

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B][I]Surging Cavaliers spank Bulls, 113-91
    December 4, 2017[/I][/B]

    CHICAGO (AP) Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love each scored 24 points, LeBron James had 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 113-91 Monday night for their 12th straight win.

    Backed by a trio of stars, the Cavaliers matched their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season.

    Wade made 9 of 13 shots in his first game in Chicago since agreeing to a buyout with his hometown team in late September. Love grabbed 13 rebounds and made 8 of 13 from the field. James finished 9 of 15 with seven rebounds and six assists. The Cavaliers shot just under 52 percent.

    Kris Dunn led Chicago with 15 points. Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday scored 14 apiece as the Bulls fell to 3-19 with their ninth straight loss.

    [B]WARRIORS 125, PELICANS 115[/B]

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Stephen Curry had 31 points and 11 assists but sprained his ankle late in the game, and Golden State came back from 21 points down late in the first half to defeat New Orleans.

    Klay Thompson scored 22 points and Kevin Durant and Draymond Green each had 19 for the Warriors, who won their fourth straight. After it was over, Curry went for X-rays on his right ankle.

    Jure Holiday scored 34 and E’Twaun Moore added a career-high 27 for the Pelicans, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

    [B]CELTICS 111, BUCKS 100[/B]

    BOSTON (AP) – Kyrie Irving had 19 of his 32 points in the second half, helping offset a 40-point night by Giannis Antetokounmpo as Boston held off Milwaukee.

    Al Horford added 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Jayson Tatum chipped in 17 points to help Boston improve to an NBA-best 21-4. The Celtics have won five of their last six.

    It was the third 40-point game this season for Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton added 19 points while Eric Bledsoe had 18 points.

    [B]SPURS 96, PISTONS 93[/B]

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) – LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio rallied to beat Detroit.

    Reggie Jackson had 27 points for Detroit, which led by as many as nine points before dropping its third straight.

    The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Anderson, who has started in place of Leonard all season.

    Rudy Gay, making his first start in place of Anderson, had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. His final points came on a three-point play that gave San Antonio an 88-86 lead with 3:39 remaining.

    [B]JAZZ 116, WIZARDS 69[/B]

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Alec Burks scored 27 points for his third straight game with 20 or more, and Utah blew out Washington for its sixth straight win.

    Burks is on his best string since three straight 20-point games in February 2014. He helped the Jazz put on a show during the first 24 minutes to lead 64-30 at halftime, their second-biggest output in a half this season.

    Utah moved the ball crisply, leading to wide open 3-pointers, layups and dunks. It shot 56.8 percent in the first half and knocked down seven 3s. Every Jazz player that played had an assist in the half, and the team scored 34 points in the paint.

    Washington set a season low for points. Otto Porter Jr. led the Wizards with 14 points.

    [B]HORNETS 104, MAGIC 94[/B]

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kemba Walker had 29 points and seven assists in his return from a shoulder injury, Dwight Howard reached a rebounding milestone and Charlotte beat Orlando to snap a four-game losing streak.

    Walker, who missed the previous two games, was the spark plug all night for the Hornets and became the first player in franchise history with 200 career 20-point games. He made all 14 free throw attempts.

    Howard had 12 points and nine rebounds, moving past former Charlotte coach Paul Silas and Dikembe Mutombo for 19th on the all-time NBA rebounding list.

    [B]KNICKS 115, PACERS 97
    [/B]
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Thaddeus Young scored 20 points to lead seven Indiana players in double figures as the Pacers routed short-handed New York.

    Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Victor Oladipo added 16 for the Pacers, who led by 26 at half and 95-65 after three quarters

    The Knicks were without leading scorers Kristaps Porzingis (25.8 ppg) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (17.8 ppg) for a second consecutive loss. Porzingis is dealing with a sprained right ankle and illness and Hardaway has a lower left leg injury.

    Michael Beasley led the Knicks with 13 points.
    [B]
    SUNS 115, 76ERS 101[/B]

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Devin Booker scored 46 points and TJ Warren added 25 to lead Phoenix over Philadelphia.

    Booker made 17 of 32 shots and hit four 3-pointers, including three in the fourth quarter that helped the Suns put away a Sixers team that played one of their worst games of the season. Booker scored 32 points on 11 of 17 shooting in the second half.

    Joel Embiid had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Ben Simmons, battling an illness, scored 20 points. JJ Redick led the Sixers with 25 points.

    [B]GRIZZLIES 95, TIMBERWOLVES 92[/B]

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Marc Gasol scored 21 points, Tyreke Evans added 16 – including two key free throws with 12.7 seconds left – and Memphis snapped an 11-game skid with a victory over Minnesota.

    Memphis, which hadn’t won since Nov. 7, had to wait a bit longer after Evans’ free throws. On the ensuing possession, Jimmy Butler’s off-balance, 26-footer over Andrew Harrison bounced off the backboard and grazed the rim, snapping the Grizzlies skid.

    Butler led Minnesota with 30 points, his second-straight game with at least 30. Taj Gibson finished with 14 points, while Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague added 12 points each.

    [B]MAVERICKS 122, NUGGETS 105[/B]

    DALLAS (AP) – Harrison Barnes scored 22 points, Dennis Smith Jr. added 20 and Dallas beat short-handed Denver.

    Six Dallas players scored in double figures as the Mavericks earned their second straight wire-to-wire win after beating the Clippers by 26 on Saturday. Dallas had its highest scoring game of the season and has won five of eight since starting 2-14.

    Will Barton led Denver with 23 points, Jamal Murray added 22 and Gary Harris had 21.

    Denver played without two-thirds of its starting frontcourt as Paul Millsap (left wrist injury) and Nikola Jokic (sprained left ankle) remained out.

    [B]NETS 110, HAWKS 90[/B]

    ATLANTA (AP) – Caris LeVert scored a season-high 17 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and Brooklyn used a strong third quarter to grab momentum and beat Atlanta.

    Brooklyn, avenging Saturday’s home loss to Atlanta, had everything working in its favor in the second half. It began the third trailing by one but went on a 17-0 run to go ahead 70-54 on DeMarre Carroll’s 3-pointer. The lead swelled to 29 in the fourth as the Nets earned their largest win of the season.

    Dennis Schroder finished with 19 points and Kent Bazemore and DeAndre’ Bembry each had 13 for Atlanta, which dropped to 5-18, second-worst in the NBA.

    #467138

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B]SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY DECEMBER 5, 2017[/B]
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    7:30 PM Phoenix Suns Toronto Raptors Air Canada Centre
    8:00 PM Utah Jazz Oklahoma City Thunder Chesapeake Energy Arena
    10:00 PM Washington Wizards Portland Trail Blazers Moda Center at the Rose Quarter

    **********************

    [B][I]DECEMBER NBA BEST BETS & OPINIONS (BASED ON 5 UNITS )

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    12/04/2017 6-10-0 37.50% -25.00
    12/03/2017 5-5-0 50.00% -2.50
    12/02/2017 7-8-1 46.66% -9.00
    12/01/2017 4-12-0 30.00% -46.00

    Totals………22 – 35 – 1……38.59%…….82.50

    BEST BETS:…………………..ATS………………. ……UNITS………………………O/U……………………….UNITS

    12/04/2017………………..4 – 4………………………-2.00………………………..1 – 3……………………..-11.50
    12/03/2017………………..2 – 2………………………-1.00………………………. 2 – 1……………………..+4.50
    12/02/2017………………..1 – 3 – 1………………….-11.50………………………4 – 3……………………..+3.50
    12/01/2017………………..2 – 5 – 1………………….-17.50………………………1 – 3……………………..-11.50

    Totals………………………9 – 14 – 2………………….-32.00………………………8 – 10………………………-15.00[/I][/B]

    #467557

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [SIZE=4][COLOR=”#A52A2A”][B]Armadillo: Tuesday’s six-pack[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]

    — Steelers 23, Bengals 20— Cincy blew a 17-0 first-half lead; they had 173 yards in penalties.

    — Ohio State 71, Michigan 62— Wolverines blew a 20-point first half lead.

    — Wisconsin 64, Penn State 63— Badgers are just 2-5 in their last seven games.

    — Indiana 77, Iowa 64— Hawkeyes are struggling at 4-5, 0-2 in conference.

    — Florida State 83, Florida 66— Impressive road win for the Seminoles.

    — I’m curious if the NFL puts Steelers-Bengals on in primetime again next year, after some of the vicious, WWE-type antics in last night’s game.

    **********

    [SIZE=”4″][COLOR=”#A52A2A”][B]Armadillo: Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……. [/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]

    13) New Jersey Giants fired their coach and GM Monday, in midst of a terrible 2-10 season that blew up even worse when QB Eli Manning was benched last week.

    Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo takes over; owner John Mara says it is Spagnuolo’s choice who starts at quarterback from now on.

    Yeah sure…as long as his initials are “E.M.”

    12) You could make a case for Giants’ GM Jerry Reese keeping his job; Giants won couple of Super Bowls in Reese’s 11 years as the GM, but he is gone now, too.

    11) Instead of two 6-6 teams playing in some obscure bowl game on a Tuesday afternoon in a empty stadium, they should’ve let Ohio State/Alabama play a play-in game in that bowl, 10-14 days before the national semi-finals. Imagine the TV ratings that would get?

    10) If you don’t think Alabama should be in the college football playoff, keep in mind that on a neutral field, they would be favored over any college team in the country, including Ohio State. They’re favored over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, and Clemson is #1 in the country.

    9) Gus Malzahn gets $49M for seven years to stay at Auburn, as college football coaching salaries continue to go through the roof.

    As recently as 2005, Malzahn was a high school coach in Springdale, Arkansas. Go figure.

    8) In their last five games, Buffalo Bills were outscored 71-6 in the third quarter; they didn’t say it on TV Sunday, but that would suggest their coaches don’t make good halftime adjustments.

    7) Speaking of the Bills, their kicker Steven Hauschka never kicked a football until he was 19 years old. He played soccer/lacrosse and also played trumpet in his HS’s jazz band.

    When he went to Middlebury College, Hauschka was cut from the soccer team, so he tried out for the football team, did really well and wound up transferring to NC State. He’s kicked for five NFL teams and also kicked for Las Vegas in the UFL.

    6) I see video clips of kids strength-training by turning over these huge tires that must go on tractors or something; who came up with that idea? It must work and it looks cool— they just keep turning the tire over and over. Reminds me of the World’s Strongest Man contest they used to show on TV— they had some creative contests that all looked like too much work for me.

    5) Boise State 73, Oregon 70— Go on Twitter or YouTube and find the video clip of the kid on Boise State nailing a runner from just over half court to give Boise this upset win in Eugene over the weekend. Excellent win for both Boise State and the Mountain West.

    4) Houston/Cincinnati’s college basketball teams are both playing off-campus this season, as their gyms are undergoing multi-million $$$ renovations. Houston is playing home games this season at Texas Southern; Bearcats are playing over the river, at Northern Kentucky U.

    3) Monday had to be a big day for UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford; DiAngelo Ball dropped out of UCLA, giving Alford one less big headache to worry about.

    DiAngelo Ball is not expected to ever be an NBA player, so you would think that maybe it would be a good idea if he got a college education, especially for free, but what do I know?

    2) Monday Night Football takes:
    — Sean McDonough doesn’t enjoy announcing football as much as he enjoys announcing basketball.
    — When it rains, could someone please give Mike Tomlin a jacket?

    1) These Big 14 conference college hoop games are being played in December this year because of the conference tournament being a week earlier than normal in March, but they’ll continue next year, because the Big 14 is going to a 20-game conference schedule, starting next season.

    #467558

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]
    Armadillo’s Write-Up

    Tuesday, December 5[/B]

    Phoenix won six of last eight games with Toronto; they covered their last four visits to Canada. Over is 5-3 in last eight series games. Suns lost five of their last seven games; they’re 6-4 vs spread as road underdogs. Over is 7-3 in their last ten games. Toronto won seven of its last nine games; they’re 5-4 as home favorites. Five of their last seven games stayed under.

    Thunder won seven of last nine games with Utah; Jazz is 1-3 vs spread in last four visits here. Under is 7-3 in last ten series games. Utah won/covered its last six games; they’re 2-4 vs spread as road favorites. Five of their last six road games went over total. Oklahoma City won its last two games after a 1-5 skid; they’re 0-3-1 vs spread in last four games as a home favorite. Four of their last six games stayed under total.

    Wizards lost by 47 in Utah last night; they lost six of last nine games, are 7-3 vs spread as road underdogs. Under is 12-3 in their last fifteen games. Portland lost its last two games after a 5-1 run; they’re 2-10-1 as home favorites. Under is 11-3 in their last 14 games. Blazers are 5-3 in last eight games with Washington (over 7-1). Wizards are 2-3 vs spread in their last five visits to Oregon.

    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]

    Tuesday, December 5[/B]

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    [SIZE=”3″][B][I][B] Trend Report [/B][/I][/B][/SIZE]
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    [B]PHOENIX @ TORONTO[/B]
    Phoenix is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Toronto
    Phoenix is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Toronto
    Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
    Toronto is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games

    [B]UTAH @ OKLAHOMA CITY[/B]
    Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
    Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah
    Oklahoma City is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home

    [B]WASHINGTON @ PORTLAND[/B]
    The total has gone OVER in 7 of Washington’s last 8 games when playing Portland
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Portland
    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Portland’s last 8 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 7 of Portland’s last 8 games when playing Washington

    —————————————————————————–

    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]
    Long Sheet

    Tuesday, December 5[/B]

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]PHOENIX (9 – 16) at TORONTO (14 – 7) – 12/5/2017, 7:35 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    PHOENIX is 6-17 ATS (-12.7 Units) in road games after scoring 115 points or more over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 32-20 ATS (+10.0 Units) in the first half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PHOENIX is 4-0 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    PHOENIX is 3-1 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]UTAH (13 – 11) at OKLAHOMA CITY (10 – 12) – 12/5/2017, 8:05 PM [/B]
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 5-3 against the spread versus UTAH over the last 3 seasons
    OKLAHOMA CITY is 7-2 straight up against UTAH over the last 3 seasons
    6 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————————————–

    [B]WASHINGTON (12 – 11) at PORTLAND (13 – 10) – 12/5/2017, 10:05 PM [/B]
    Top Trends for this game.
    WASHINGTON is 25-14 ATS (+9.6 Units) after a non-conference game over the last 2 seasons.
    WASHINGTON is 55-36 ATS (+15.4 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
    PORTLAND is 21-34 ATS (-16.4 Units) in the first half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PORTLAND is 3-2 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
    PORTLAND is 3-2 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ——————————————————–

    [B][SIZE=”5″]NBA[/SIZE]
    Dunkel

    Tuesday, December 5[/B]

    [B]Phoenix @ Toronto[/B]

    Game 701-702
    December 5, 2017 @ 7:35 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Phoenix
    109.617
    Toronto
    126.784
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Toronto
    by 17
    231
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Toronto
    by 13
    224
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Toronto
    (-13); Over

    Utah @ Oklahoma City[/B]

    Game 703-704
    December 5, 2017 @ 8:05 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Utah
    116.412
    Oklahoma City
    125.913
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Oklahoma City
    by 9 1/2
    196
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Oklahoma City
    No Line
    N/A
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Oklahoma City
    N/A

    Washington @ Portland[/B]

    Game 705-706
    December 5, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Washington
    119.804
    Portland
    122.467
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Portland
    by 2 1/2
    198
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Portland
    by 6
    204
    [B]Dunkel Pick:
    Washington
    (+6); Under[/B]

    #467560

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B][I]Shaky OKC start adds to Northwest intrigue[/I][/B]

    Head coach Gregg Popovich rested nearly all of the Spurs’ top players on Sunday and still nearly beat Oklahoma City, which suffered through a sloppy game from Russell Westbrook and a foul-riddled off night from Paul George.

    At home, in front of a crowd that has grown nervous instead of confident given what’s transpired over the first few weeks, the Thunder held on to a three-point win in a game where they were favored by 8 and up by as much as 14 in the second half.

    Per the Westgate, they remain at 12/1 to win the Western Conference despite opening the week as the Northwest Division’s last-place team.

    Coming into the regular season, I believed that the Thunder stood as the biggest threat to the Warriors making a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance. I’m not ready to give up on it after six weeks, but certainly have concerns their lack of chemistry is about moving parts that are destined to forever not mesh.

    Westbrook is having issues getting into his preferred in-game rhythm while being cognizant of the fact George and Carmelo Anthony need the ball to get going. He’s had issues with turnovers and has looked rushed, but with so much time still remaining – nearly three-quarters of the season – reps over time can alleviate the concerns.

    George isn’t shooting it well, currently at 41 percent, and has wild scoring swings of late that have seen him score 2 and 8 points in separate games this week, but also dropped 36 on Minnesota. Anthony has only scored more than 20 points once in the last four games.

    Rest of Northwest to make Thunder road bumpy
    Since the Thunder dominated Golden State in the first meeting of the season on Nov. 22, there’s obviously something to work with there. Is Billy Donovan the right guy to wave the right wand and help it all come together? That might be something to consider if Oklahoma City continues to struggle this month.

    After facing the Jazz on Tuesday, OKC hits the road for five of six, opening in Brooklyn before heading down to Memphis. The Thunder than return home to face the Hornets before going to Indiana, Philadelphia and New York. ‘Melo will be making his first appearances in NYC over the next 12 days and is averaging 18.7 points, his lowest output since his rookie year. It will be interesting to see how the Thunder makes it through this stretch. If they flourish, things could take off.

    The Thunder opened the season at 17/2 to win the West and were an overwhelming 1/2 favorite to take the Northwest Division, so a slow start has only slightly tempered expectations. Only Golden State (1/4), Houston (9/2) and San Antonio (7/1) have better odds than the Thunder to win the West since the presumption that they’ll soon take off remains in place for many.

    Their lack of cohesion does make the long regular season far more interesting since no one has taken full advantage to build much of a lead in the Northwest. The four teams ahead of the Thunder were separated by just a half-game on Nov. 5, all less than three games up on OKC.

    Those 12-1 odds the Thunder are fetching in the West are far superior to division-leading Minnesota (40/1), Denver (100/1) and Portland (100/1) despite the fact OKC became the last one to pick up its 10th victory. Utah (150/1), just a half-game behind the division leaders entering the showdown with the Thunder, looks far more formidable than most anticipated.

    Jazz center Rudy Gobert recovered faster than expected from a bone bruise in his leg that was originally supposed to sideline him until mid-month. Instead, he returned on Monday night and grabbed 10 rebounds in 21 minutes in a 116-69 rout of Washington. Despite missing the presence of the top defensive center in the game, Utah went 7-4 in the 11 games he missed, winning and covering five in succession.

    Utah will be able to put his 7-foot-9 wingspan to use entering a critical stretch that will help determine whether a franchise that was written off after losing Gordon Hayward to Boston via free agency can be a factor all season. So far, you have to like its chances.

    The Jazz have also gotten backup point guard Raul Neto back from a hamstring injury and will soon get wing Rodney Hood back from an ankle sprain. Utah hosts Houston in the second half of a nationally-televised TNT doubleheader on Thursday, so they’ll be under the microscope. With shooting guard Alec Burks pouring in 28 points off the bench, Utah is flexing depth most slept on prior to leaving for a season-long six-game road trip that won’t see them play another home game for two weeks after they host the Rockets.

    Former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Favors has averaged 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds since moving into Gobert’s spot at center, while rookie Donovan Mitchell has averaged 25 points per game over his last five. The Jazz are certainly serving notice that they’re going to be a problem. I’d take advantage of their futures now before the odds become less lucrative.

    The Thunder figure to have company at the top in the Northwest for most of the season given the multitude of candidates that have emerged.

    Minnesota opened as the likeliest alternative to OKC as division champ, coming in 3/1. They’ve had their own issues with getting key new cogs Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford up to speed as they build around young cornerstones Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, but have avoided a losing streak longer than two games and face a manageable schedule over the next few weeks, playing five straight in Minneapolis from Dec. 10-16.

    Of the teams coming into town, only the 76ers and Blazers have winning records.

    Portland has had the most continuity with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum leading the charge. It held the Northwest lead as November came to an end but suffered home setbacks to the Bucks and Pelicans to fall out of first. Although young forward Noah Vonleh has stepped his game up as a prolific rebounder, getting Al-Farouq Aminu should upgrade depth in the frontcourt and elevate the defense. He’d missed some time with an ankle injury but should have an impact going forward.

    Denver is the team that may end up falling into the background before the month is up since it can’t stay healthy. The Nuggets have been extremely unlucky, losing Paul Millsap for weeks due to a wrist injury and seeing star center Nikola Jokic turn an ankle last week. Both missed Monday’s 122-105 loss in Dallas, opening a six-game road trip that couldn’t come at a worse time given their ailments since includes games against New Orleans, Detroit and Boston, all teams with elite big men.

    Jokic is a likely All-Star and the franchise’s key piece, so if the injury lingers, it could be a deal-breaker to Denver’s chances. The Nuggets have feasted on the comforts of home, posting a 10-3 mark at Pepsi Center, but is just 3-8 on the road, potentially making them a team to fade relentlessly as they endure a difficult stretch.

    They’ll visit the Pelicans, Pacers, Pistons, Celtics, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Timberwolves over the next three weeks. All those teams will be favored, so unless the Nuggets get healthy or find a way to pull off some upsets, they could be in a world of trouble before 2018 even arrives.

    If nothing else, that means Oklahoma City isn’t likely to be a last-place team too much longer.

    #467746

    cnotes
    Member
    • Author

    [B][I]TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS[/I][/B]

    PHO at TOR 07:30 PM
    [B]TOR -13.5
    O 223.0[/B]

    UTA at OKC 08:00 PM
    [B]UTA +7.5
    U 197.0[/B]

    WAS at POR 10:00 PM
    [B]WAS +6.0
    U 202.0[/B]

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