Life in the West continues to get worse for the Lakers and Spurs, but the Kings are beating the NBA lines, and the Pelicans can always put those giant smoothie cups on the frontline next to Anthony Davis.
Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to February 5 inclusive:
I sure do loves me some NBA betting. For the most part, I get to concentrate on the things that matter in basketball – you know, the basketball. But it still drives me mad the way the league degrades itself in its eternal quest for the almighty dollar. The latest affront to humanity: Smoothie King Center. For the next 10 years, that’ll be the name of the arena the New Orleans Pelicans play in. They’re even going to put two giant 20-foot tall smoothie cups at the entrance.
Call me old and cranky if you like, but mark my words: This is the death knell of sports as we know it. It’s less and less about the competition with each passing day, and where there isn’t competition, there isn’t a sport that you can bet on. Remember this when you wake up one day, and the players themselves have been replaced by mascots dressed as smoothies. Go Mangosteens!
New Orleans Pelicans
When we last left the Pellies (21-27 SU, 22-24-2 ATS), Anthony Davis (26.4 PER) had suffered a dislocated pinkie finger. But he only ended up missing one game, and New Orleans is 2-1 SU and ATS since his return, beating the Atlanta Hawks (+2.5 away) 105-100 on Wednesday night. Davis had 27 points and 10 rebounds in 36 minutes. Ryan Anderson (19.1 PER), Jrue Holiday (17.4 PER) and Tyreke Evans (17.7 PER) are still out for the Pelicans, but if Davis is playing, New Orleans has a fighting chance. Is he on the Western All-Star team next week in front of his home fans? Nope. But hey – giant smoothie cups!
Meanwhile, at (yawn) Sleep Train Arena, the Kings (17-32 SU, 23-24-2 ATS) extended their current ATS streak to four games with a 109-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors (+1 away). Yes, the Raptors were underdogs in this game. Rudy Gay (22.2 PER) got some revenge against his former team with 24 points and 10 rebounds, as he continues to mesh well as part of Sacto’s Big Three with DeMarcus Cousins (26.7 PER) and Isaiah Thomas (21.1 PER). One downside from Wednesday’s win: Marcus Thornton (9.9 PER) took a hard fall on his hip and left the game. X-rays were negative, so consider Thornton day-to-day for now.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs (36-13 SU, 24-25 ATS) had better get plenty of sleep before they arrive in Brooklyn Thursday night to face the Nets. On Wednesday, they were extended to double overtime by the Washington Wizards before finally winning 125-118 as 2-point road faves. But it came at a cost: Tony Parker (20.4 PER) didn’t start the second half because his back seized up, and his status for Thursday is up in the air as we go to press. Manu Ginobili (19.3 PER) and Kawhi Leonard (17.6 PER) are also out for the Spurs as they continue their annual “Rodeo Trip,” thanks to the AT&T Center being taken over by the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Association.
Los Angeles Lakers
Speaking of bum trips, the Lakers (17-32 SU, 26-22-1 ATS) lost yet another player on Wednesday when Nick Young (14.6 PER) twisted his left knee against the Cleveland Cavaliers. By the fourth quarter, the Lakers were down to five active players, so Robert Sacre (12.8 PER) had to stay in the game even though he fouled out – any further foul would have had a technical added on to it. And the Lakers still beat the Cavs 119-108 as 7-point road dogs. They’ll have a hard time coming up with a team for Friday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, but then again, it’s only the Sixers.