Time to squeeze out a couple of winners as there are only 4 game on tap in the NBA for Thursday night.
I want to reiterate that this is the preseason and starters minutes can be cut short. That said, there’s still ample opportunity to make profit with your NBA picks.
Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2) at Detroit Pistons (3-4)
Two Improved Teams
With the many additions to the Pistons squad and the return of Kevin Love to the Timberwolves, both teams win totals will increase this season as they’re moving in the right direction. The Pistons are a team looking to develop chemistry while Minnesota has less work to do as the core guys are the same.
No time for rest for the T-Wolves as they’re coming off of an easy 125-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76’ers. In this game, the Wolves shot an eye-popping 15 of 29 from 3-point territory and the bench saw a ton of minutes. Look for more of the same against Detroit. Kevin Love is pretty much unstoppable and it’s a matter of how much playing time that he’ll be allotted. Ricky Rubio is coming off of an unselfish Rubio-type game in which he had 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 5 assists and 2 points. Kevin Martin, who is not a passer, also looked sharp against the Sixers and the Pistons will be a tougher task; look for more minutes and production from the starters tonight.
We should also see rookie Shabazz Muhammad get an ample amount of time on the court. Muhammad is coming off of a 8 point 6 rebound performance in just 18 minutes. The T-Wolves want to get a young stud like this “NBA-ready”.
In their last game, the Pistons managed to come up on the winning end in a 99-96 victory over the Washington Wizards. The Pistons were without their two key acquisitions in Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. Don’t expect Jennings to playing tonight as he has a case of impacted wisdom teeth.
Kyle Singler is coming off of preseason high 14 points and look for more of Singler tonight as there will be minutes available. Detroit will need veteran Chauncey Billups and Greg Monroe to carry this team if they expect to pick up a victory tonight. Despite his advanced age, Billups has maintained his ability to be the quarterback on the court and Monroe has been the Pistons most productive player over the past couple of seasons. He’s coming off of a big performance against Washington.
Aside from having the best player on the court and great size, I like the momentum that Minnesota carries into this game, and for that reason I believe that they can cover the NBA odds.
Pick- Minnesota +2 at Bet 365
Houston Rockets (4-1) at San Antonio (3-3)
With the addition of D-12, Houston is a much improved team this season. Expect Howard to flourish in the state of Texas as there will be less pressure on him to produce. Howard and the Rockets have a tough test tonight as they face the always formidable San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan.
The Popovich Way
The coaching methods of San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich have worked very well over the years as he has 4 championships attached to his resume. That said, in a preseason game, you don’t know if Pop will sit a star player or limit their time on the court.
After a horrible showing against Miami in which he was held scoreless in 18 minutes, Tony Parker sat out the Orlando game. San Antonio defeated Orlando by 22 points, but not having Parker in the lineup against a team the caliber of Houston could be a problem. With Popovich, he just wants to make it out of the preseason healthy and confident as he has aging players at key positions, therefore backing San Antonio in the preseason is a problem.
Look for a lot of Kawhi Leonard in this game. This is a player that’s coming into his own. He’s coming off of an impressive 19 point, 5 rebound performance against the Magic in which he shot 9 of 15 from the field.
It’s always difficult to go against the Spurs, but Houston is a vastly improved team that should tire the Spurs out. The Rockets offense was ranked 2nd in the league in points scored last season and with the addition of Dwight Howard, will only be more powerful.
Pick –Houston +3.5 at Bet 365