Take Blazers to Cover Over Nets for Your NBA Picks

David Lawrence

Saturday, November 15, 2014 1:52 PM GMT

The Portland Trail Blazers started their season slowly, but they’ve really picked up the pace the past week. Can the Brooklyn Nets put a stop to Portland’s winning ways? They’re an eight-point dog on the NBA betting lines on Saturday.

The Brooklyn Nets Can Win Because…
Their point guard is playing like the All-Star he used to be. Deron Williams has dazzled in Brooklyn this season. Williams was an average player upon joining the Nets in the middle of the 2012-2013 season, and he was little better during the 2013-2014 season. He was dogged by injuries and did not have a high level of footspeed in those one and a half seasons, but Williams has been good enough to show other kinds of instincts and make other forms of contributions such that he could overcome the loss of half a step. Yet, those characteristics did not surface nearly as much as the Nets organization thought they would. Yet, at the start of his second full season, Williams might have regained that half step. He was the Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week after posting a series of excellent performances. Williams is averaging 18.6 points and 6.5 assists per game. The Nets have to like the extent to which Williams is distributing the ball and getting teammates involved while scoring consistently. Since Joe Johnson is the team’s high-output shooting guard, scoring an average of just over 19 points per game, Williams doesn’t have to take every shot. An 18.6-per game scoring average will be more than good enough for what Brooklyn wants to do this season.

 

The Portland Trail Blazers Can Win Because…
They're on a roll and will be playing at home. The Blazers lost two of their first three games this season, but they’ve won five of their last six. In those six games, even the one loss, the Blazers have scored at least 101 points. This offense has begun to flow. You’ve seen better ball movement, better clarity on the court, better shooting. Portland’s six-game stretch has lifted the Blazers to second place in the NBA in terms of scoring offense, with 105.4 points per game. The Blazers are also third in the NBA in assists, which naturally flows from players making shots and, of course, scoring with great consistency. The Blazers also happen to be first in the league in rebounds per game with 47.2. They’re not just an offense-only team, either – they average 97.2 points allowed per contest, which puts them at 10th in the NBA. This is a well-developed team. It might not be the best team in the NBA or in the Western Conference, but it’s a solid team and one that should definitely make the playoffs in what is a stacked conference. Given that LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging just under 22 points and eight rebounds per game, and given that Damian Lillard is averaging just over six assists per game, there’s room for Portland to get better – both stars can produce at higher levels than what they’ve shown so far.

 

Outlook
The Nets have two guys, Williams and Johnson, playing well. The Blazers have a whole team that’s playing really well right now. It’s a tight spot for the Nets, who are an East coast team playing their third road game in four nights on the West coast. SBR's live NBA odds have Portland listed at -8 favorites, take them to cover with your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Portland -8 at The Greek

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