NBA Free Premium Play 12/19

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  • Date Friday, 19 December 2014
  • Write up
    If it's true that Toronto definitely has the edges in theory to get a comfortable win tonight, it's also true that their spot for this contest is a bit tricky. They've been a big sloppy as of late and after a blowout win against Brooklyn in a big revenge game for them, I expect them to have a letdown tonight against a team, who even though has a poor record, actually possesses some weapons to pound the weakest part of Toronto's defense.
     
    I believe Detroit's size will be a clear problem for Toronto tonight. Even in the game against the Nets, Toronto struggled most of the game against a depleted Brooklyn team due to some really sloppy play on the interior defense, including the defensive rebounding area. Valanciunas seems a bit too slow to block shots, while Amir is a PF who likes to play a lot on the outside, which will be problematic against Detroit's big lineup tonight. Drummond should dominate the rebounding, while both Monroe and Josh should have some physical edge tonight against the opposing PF's of Toronto.
     
    I expect Toronto's chill out spot to put them in a lot of danger against a team which is a lowly one, but who actually has a physical frontcourt that can expose Toronto's major liability right now: their interior defense. Therefore, I expect this game to be a surprising close one and so, I'll take Detroit in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/17

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  • Date Wednesday, 17 December 2014
  • Write up
    I believe Utah will be very competitive tonight. They will have Favors back, which are obviously great news for the team's frontcourt. Both Kanter and Gobert lack clear weapons on offense, so with Favors back, Utah should be now more ready to pound the super shorthanded Heat interior defense. 
     
    Miami will have Wade tonight on the court, but he is currently dealing with an illness and on a back to back spot, I expect him to lack some energy tonight. On the other side, as I mentioned before, with Bosh and McRoberts out, Miami's frontcourt is clearly shorthanded, which will allow Utah to dominate the rebounds and also pound the Heat down low. Even though Miami will have some edge on the backcourt tonight, Utah will compensate that with frontcourt and rebounding edges on their own. Therefore, I expect the Jazz to be very competitive tonight and so, I'll take them in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/15

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  • Date Monday, 15 December 2014
  • Write up
    This is a revenge game for Portland, given that San Antonio beat them in last year's playoffs. The Spurs will be without Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Splitter and Mills tonight, five players who were a big part of last year's playoff series between these two teams. With so many absences as well, San Antonio's bench is now depleted and it has to rely on their starters a lot. The problem is that Leonard is also banged up and he only returned last night to the court, having played 37 minutes against Denver. On the other hand, Green is slumping on his perimeter shooting, with 32.1% 3pts on San Antonio's last five games. 
     
    If that wasn't enough, Portland is now a quite tough matchup for San Antonio as well. The Blazers' perimeter defense has been great this season and they will put a lot of pressure on the Spurs' outside shooters. Joseph is no Parker when it comes to lead the team's offense, so I believe San Antonio's offense will indeed struggle tonight. On the other side, San Antonio's defense has been pretty average lately and they are especially struggling to stop team from making threes against them. Given that Portland is one of the team outside shooting teams in the league, I believe that San Antonio's defense will also struggle tonight. Given the edges that Portland will have in both defense and offense tonight, I believe they will have a double digits win and so, I'll take them in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/09

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  • Date Tuesday, 09 December 2014
  • Write up
    Detroit actually played a rather decent game last Sunday against Oklahoma City, where they actually attempted a three-pointer at the buzzer for the win. Their offense actually showed up, with 25 assists for just 12 turnovers, while also scoring 42 points in the paint and shooting a decent FG% at the rim. Given that Portland's post up defense is subpar, I believe Detroit should be able to score well near the basket tonight, as Portland's rim defense is clearly regressing right now with 66.7% FG allowed at the rim on their last five games.
     
    On the other hand, Portland's offense will have a huge mismatch on their most important positions: PG position (Lillard) and PF position (Aldridge). There is no doubt that Lillard will expose Jennings's poor defense tonight, with the same happening between Aldridge and Detroit's PF's. Detroit's 3pts defense is also quite inconsistent and Portland is the right team to expose that as well. I see this game going over the 200 points mark tonight and so, I'll take the Over in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/08

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  • Date Monday, 08 December 2014
  • Write up
    The main reason why I believe this game will be a high scoring one has to do with the absence of both Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson tonight. These two players are ball hoggers, who really make the whole decision process of the Nets' offense too slow and also quite predictable. With them, Brooklyn's offense will surprise in here, with Deron being the main focus of the team's offense, which is a good idea as Cleveland's defense with Irving guarding Deron will struggle. Deron will certainly penetrate a lot into the basket and this is exactly where the Cavs' defense is struggling big time this season: stop the opposing dribble penetrations. 
     
    On the other hand, Cleveland's offense will have plenty of edges in here against a slow Brooklyn defense, especially on quick transitions and also in the mismatches that Lebron and Irving will have in here on offense. Therefore, I expect this game to be a high scoring game and so, I'll take the Over in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/06

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  • Date Saturday, 06 December 2014
  • Write up
    This is a horrible spot for Houston. If it wasn't enough for them to play without four of their potential starters (Howard, Jones, Canaan, Beverley), they have now lost Papanikolaou as well. Beverley will be back tonight, but I believe he is playing because the Rockets really need an extra body on their backcourt, but he'll be far from 100%. This is a back to back spot for the Rockets, as they played a game at Minnesota last night that went to overtime. This forced the veteran Terry to play 43 minutes and given how short their roster is at the moment, I'm sure that Terry will have to play major minutes once again.
     
    This will give a huge edge to Phoenix's backcourt. The Suns backcourt formed by Dragic and Bledsoe is incredible quick and they will pound Terry's and Harden's poor defense time and time again. If Minnesota was able to score 23 fast break points against Houston last night, Phoenix as the best transition team in the league will absolutely run over Houston tonight. The Suns are coming from a relatively easy win at Dallas last night and they seem to be in excellent form at the moment. Their main weakness is their poor interior defense, but with Howard injured, Houston lacks a decent frontcourt player to explore that. Therefore, I believe Phoenix should get another comfortable win tonight and so, I'll take them in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/05

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  • Date Friday, 05 December 2014
  • Write up
    Washington's last game against the LA Lakers showed that the Wizards also know how to play on run and gun style. They were coming from three super slow paced games, but they had no problems in adapting to a faster pace by dominating the paint and shooting decently as well from the perimeter. Of course they were facing the lowly Lakers on a back to back spot for them, but Washington still did what they had to do in that game.
     
    The Wizards will now host Denver in an exciting contest. This should also be another nice match up for the Wizards' offense. This is because Denver has zero help defense, with their undersized PF's getting outplayed on defense time and time again, with everybody looking lost on the defensive rotations. This was the main reason why Aldridge absolutely crushed them on the Nuggets' last game. This also means that with Wall attacking off dribble, this will attract a lot of Nuggets into closing down Wall's drive to the basket, which will leave an open Wizards player time and time again for an easy score.
     
    On the other hand, Washington's defense is coming from two games against Miami and the Lakers, two jump shooting teams who aren't aggressive at the rim. This was why the Wizards allowed just 36 and 20 points in the paint in those games. However, things will be very different today against Denver, a much more aggressive team in attacking the rim and in fact, Washington's rim defense isn't that good with 63.5% FG allowed. Therefore, I see both teams having relevant edges on offense on this match up and so, I'll take the Over in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 12/02

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  • Date Tuesday, 02 December 2014
  • Write up
    The big news on this game is of course the return of Durant. He will play around 30 minutes tonight, but that's not the reason why I like the Thunder in here. In fact, even if Durant was out, I would still like his team in tonight's game. The main reason for that is how poor the Pelicans' offense has been lately. They are coming from a game at Washington, where their offense was so out of sync that they had just 12 assists the whole game and ended the game with more turnovers than assists (12/13 A/TO ratio)!
     
    The Pelicans managed to be competitive at DC thanks to another big game from Davis, however things will be tough for him tonight against Ibaka, who should be able to at least limit Davis. With Davis limited on offense, the Pelicans should struggle a lot on offense in here. Their perimeter shooting is poor and with a starting lineup that includes Asik and Rivers, two liabilities on offense, the Pelicans simply lack solutions on offense to compensate Ibaka's good defense on Davis.
     
    As much as New Orleans can also defend reasonably well overall, the truth is that Oklahoma City with Durant and Westbrook back has a lot of solutions on offense. They gain two great scorers on the court, besides leaving lots of open space to the remaining Thunder players in the field that can also score when given the opportunity. The Thunder know that this is a big game and that they need to immediately start a winning streak to compensate their poor start of the season. Therefore, I believe they will limit a lot the struggling Pelicans offense in here, while scoring enough on their own offense to have a comfortable win tonight. I'll take the Thunder tonight.

NBA Free Premium Play 11/29

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  • Date Saturday, 29 November 2014
  • Write up
    This is a terrible spot for Houston, as they will be without Howard, Jones, Beverley and Canaan tonight. This means that they will have to play without their starting center, their starting PF, their starting PG and their backup PG! The Rockets managed to win games without most of these players, but they were home games against teams in poor spots. As soon as they faced a team that wasn't in a poor spot, they got crushed at home by the Clippers last night.
     
    Now at Milwaukee, things don't look good at all for Houston. The Rockets need to score both near the rim and from the outside, but without any scoring punch on the frontcourt and with their main PG's out of this game, it will all come to Harden's hands once again. This destroys Houston's ball movement and they end up attempting a lot of treys and also missing a lot of those as well. Last night was another example of that with 10-37 3pts!
     
    The Bucks have a good rim defense led by Sanders and they will have a huge depth edge in tonight's game. With both teams on a back to back spot, this will be extremely important. The Bucks saw their second unit dominate last night's game against Detroit with 69 points scored, over 66% of the points scored by the team! Jason Kidd has been very smart in how to manage the team's rotation and this is why they can make a lot of damage on these spots. This is why I expect Milwaukee to have a comfortable win tonight and so, I'll take them in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 11/25

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  • Date Tuesday, 25 November 2014
  • Write up
    Atlanta has a great chance of being competitive with Nene out tonight. With the Brazilian out, Washington will start Gooden, as that's obviously a big decrease in quality. The Hawks' poor interior defense would get pounded by Nene down low, but Gooden is a mid-range shooter with no interest in attacking the rim whatsoever.
     
    The Hawks have Carroll back and with him back in the lineup, the Hawks' defense is now once again more consistent. Atlanta's frontcourt with Horford and Millsap will also be a very tough match up for Washington and so, I expect this game to be a very close one. Therefore, I'll be taking the Hawks tonight.
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