Tuesday's Rundown of NBA Action

Troy Haliburton

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:29 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 8:29 PM UTC

Tuesday Features a Limited three game slate for the NBA, and our expert NBA capper, Troy Hailburton, has a pick for each one. Read on as he breas down Celtics vs Nets, Raptors vs Rockets and Spurs vs Mavericks.

Boston vs Brooklyn

The Celtics are the hottest team in the NBA, having won their last 12 games despite having players come in and out of the lineup due to injuries. Kyrie Irving is listed as questionable after being on the wrong end of an elbow from teammate Aron Baynes. The reason why the Celtics have been able to beat teams is because of their intensity on the defensive end. The Celtics have the number one ranked scoring defense in the NBA, only allowing 94 points per game to opponents.

The key to the Celtics’ defensive versatility has to be the play of power forward Al Horford. Horford is having one of the best years of his career from a versatility standpoint, and honestly is doing his best Draymond Green impersonation. Big Al has the ability to not only stand his ground in the paint when bigger defenders try to back him down, but he can also hedge hard and pick up wing players on defensive switches. That rare ability has Horford anchoring the Celtics defense and puts opposing teams in a bind as far as how to attack them.

The Brooklyn Nets will get their first look at the new and improved Celtics, as they are trying to go through their own revamping of their roster. Granted the, Nets don’t have a group of former All-Star players to help navigate this transition. D’Angelo Russell will miss Tuesday’s game with a knee contusion, and that will put more pressure on Spencer Dinwiddie to continue shining in the Nets lineup. Dinwiddie started out the year as the team's third-string point guard behind Russell and Jeremy Lin, who was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury opening night.

If Dinwiddie can balance his ability to score the basketball with his playmaking skills of making his teammates better, it gives the Nets a much better chance of upsetting the Celtics tonight.

Free NBA Pick: Nets +7.5Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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Raptors vs Rockets

The Rockets are on a six-game winning streak and they have done it without their biggest offseason acquisition, Chris Paul. This Rockets team resembles the one from last season where James Harden was able to dominate from the point guard position and is able to facilitate and basically spoonfeed his teammates the ball in the best position to score. During the Rockets winning streak, they are averaging 120 points per game while making 17.6 3-pointers per game.

The Raptors on the other hand have kind of hit a wall of sorts with their style of play. This team started out the year taking and making more 3-pointers than anyone could have imagined, but those early season numbers seemed to be an aberration as DeRozan and the Raptors have reverted back to their more natural style of taking lots of their patented elbow jumpers.

Watching the Raptors, I noticed that there is an imbalance in their roster when it comes to their big men. Jonas Valunciunas is the traditional big man who can not stretch the defense and is a lumberer in the paint, whereas Serge Ibaka fits the modern mode of a stretch forward, but shies away from contact around the rim. It is virtually impossible to win in the NBA when you can’t rely on your big men to get down and dirty in the paint and compete for rebounds.

Look for the Rockets to dominate the Raptors inside with Clint Capela, and cruise to another victory.

Free NBA Pick: Rockets -6.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Spurs vs Mavs

There was a time where this matchup was a fierce rivalry in the Western Conference. The Spurs remain atop the West as  one of the better teams in the NBA, while the Mavericks are staring down the barrell of their second consecutive lottery season. The thing that makes the Spurs so great is the depth of their roster. The Spurs have yet to have Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker suit up this season, and it has not stopped them from amassing an 8-5 record. On Saturday the Spurs were also without Danny Green and Manu Ginobili, but still had no problems beating the Chicago Bulls. Green and Ginobili should be back tonight, making it even more of a stretch that the Mavs will be able to pull of the upset.

The lone bright spot for the Mavericks team has been Dennis Smith Jr. who is averaging 15 points and 5 assists per game on top of a few highlight dunks on a nightly basis. Smith’s play has been so dynamic that he almost caused a straight up war between the Cavaliers and Knicks when Lebron James commented that the Knicks should have drafted Smith. In the end, Smith is probably in the best position for himself, because Rick Carlisle is a fantastic coach who will allow him to grow as a player. Some of the toughest lessons in sports come from taking tough losses, and in that case Smith will learn a lot this season, because the Mavericks are not going to win many games.

Free NBA Pick: Spurs -6Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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