We're well into the NBA season and the 76ers have still yet to win a single game. Now they have to contend with one of the best teams in the NBA in Dallas. Who should we favor with our NBA picks?
Being on the road has no bearing when it comes to the minds of the odds makers, as they've listed Dallas as a massive favorite on the NBA odds. At time of writing, the Mavericks were favored by 12.5 points at most sites. A total of 204.5 has been put on the board, and while we know the Mavs will have little trouble scoring the ball, will Philadelphia be able to keep up and help the total push over? We're not so sure, especially since one of the team's best scorers in Tony Wroten is out.
Oh boy. It just gets uglier and uglier.
Thing is, this is what the 76ers want. They want to lose and finish in the lottery, compiling those top draft picks and beefing up their team that way. They've picked up a lot of talent already, but there's still a long way to go for this team. That's evident by the results, with Philadelphia at a mind-blowing 0-15 on the year. Most of their defeats have come in blowout fashion, as this young group just hasn't been able to keep up with the NBA's best. Scratch that: any team in the league.
Tony Wroten leads the team with 17.9 PPG and 6.3 APG, but he's now injured and won't be available. That means more responsibility for Michael Carter-Williams, who seems to be finding full heath for Philadelphia. Still, the team is trying to protect their young assets, and that includes Nerlens Noel as well, who's playing limited minutes right now.
With Philadelphia perfectly content to take the slow approach and build up their team through the draft, it leaves us little reason to go anywhere near them with our NBA picks. That's especially true against a great overall team like the Mavericks.
The Mavericks just wrapped up one of their better wins of the season last night, as they outlasted the Raptors on the road in a 106-102 win.
Monta Ellis took over in the fourth, scoring 16 points in the quarter to finish with a game-high 30 for the game. Tyson Chandler had another double-double, with Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and Al-Farouq Aminu also reaching double figures in scoring. Dallas only turned the ball over eight times in all and hit 11 threes in the victory.
After last night, the Mavericks can be found with a 12-5 overall record. That would typically be good enough for a top spot in the division, but not in the highly competitive Southwest Division, which features top-tier teams in Memphis, Houston and San Antonio. New Orleans isn't half bad either.
Regardless, Dallas is playing good basketball right now, and you have to figure things are only going to get better and better the more they play together. The return of Chandler has helped anchor the defense, while Parsons has been a nice addition as well. Injuries at the point guard position haven't helped, but Devin Harris and JJ Barea have done just fine with more minutes.
It shouldn't matter if anyone has an off night here tonight, as Dallas should have little trouble overwhelming Philadelphia, barring a complete collapse.
Is this a letdown spot for the Mavs?
Yes, they'll be playing their second game in as many nights and third in five days, but let's get serious for a second. Dallas is the vastly superior team, and the Mavs have the depth to cope with the demands of a tough schedule.
The 76ers were already bad enough, and now they're without their best offensive threat in Wroten. There's little chance they'll be able to keep up with the far more talented Mavericks tonight, so lay the chalk and look for another blowout win for Rick Carlisle's team.
Free NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks -12.5 at 5Dimes