NBA Free Premium Play 10/30

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  • Date Thursday, 30 October 2014
  • Write up
    It was clear last night at Denver that Detroit is completely favoring defense on their lineups over offense by putting Joel Anthony on the court during crunch time. In fact, we even had some possessions where Joel, Drummond and Smith played at the same time in the Pistons' frontcourt. On the other side, Detroit also showed some terrible perimeter shooting, something expected given Meeks's injury. Detroit is also missing the currently suspended Monroe to give them some scoring touch near the basket. On the other hand, Detroit's defense is almost at an elite level. Denver's offense is totally based in attacking the rim, but they just couldn't do it effectively last night against the Pistons. For tonight's back to back game at Minnesota, I don't expect any miracle from Detroit's offense, so it will be their defense that will make them competitive tonight.
    Minnesota is coming from a game last night at Memphis, where their interior defense was horrible. Gasol and Randolph combined 24-33 FG, while getting easy looks in a variety of ways (good post position, offensive rebounds, mid-range shots, etc.). However, Memphis with their good ball movement was the main responsible for these good looks. Now against the Pistons, things should be easier for the Wolves' interior defense, as Smith and Drummond aren't good shooters, especially in comparison with Gasol and Randolph. On the other hand, Minnesota is very turnover prone and this will be another problem on their offense tonight against a good Pistons defense. The Wolves also managed to have surprising good numbers from their outside shooting last night, but that's very unlikely to happen twice in two nights. I believe this totals line is too high for this match up and so, I'll take the Under in here.

NBA Free Premium Play 10/29

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  • Date Wednesday, 29 October 2014
  • Write up
    Washington didn't impress me at all during the preseason. Their offense was too stagnant with zero flow and honestly that's quite normal, as Wall used to have Beal (injured), Ariza (now in Houston) and Webster on the corners and now, they aren't there. Therefore, the Wizards will need time to put their offense back into an acceptable level and most importantly, they need Beal to recover from injury, as he's their only excellent shooter. Things only got worse after their preseason brawl in the game against the Bulls, where Nene and Blair got suspended for tonight's game. Of course that now without two of their main frontcourt players, and also considering Miami's small ball mentality, Washington will be forced to play small tonight. In fact, even Paul Pierce said that he spent a lot of time playing at the PF position at practice to get ready for tonight's smaller than usual lineup.
    So, the question in here is to know if by playing small, aren't the Wizards falling into Miami's trap, a team that has been playing with stretch PF's for three seasons in a row, while Washington will just do it tonight out of pure necessity? Not just Nene and Blair are suspended, as Humphries is also playing limited with a hand injury. Washington will then use Temple at the SG position, a defensive specialist to guard Wade, but the problem is that Temple has zero offensive skills and this will allow the Heat's backcourt defense to put extra pressure on Wall tonight. Even though Lebron is gone, Miami is a very well coached, led by three very experienced players in their lineup: Bosh, Deng and Wade. The Heat will explore Washington's weaknesses well, especially in the Wizards' offense, allowing Miami to comfortably beat a Washington team that will be missing some key players due to injuries and suspensions. Therefore, I'm taking Miami tonight.

NBA Free Premium Play 10/28

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  • Date Tuesday, 28 October 2014
  • Write up
    This will be one of the few times where we will see the Pelicans having such a big spread this season. The reason for that is that their roster is far from being at an elite level, given how unbalanced it is. However, they have a brilliant matchup in here against Orlando. The Magic are currently struggling with injuries and this means that their projected starting lineup for tonight is formed by Vucecvic - O'Quinn - Harkless - Harris - Ridnour! With such lineup, their offensive focus will be all over Nikola Vucevic, but these are great news for New Orleans's defense, who will (once again) struggle in closing out the perimeter, but who will have a great rim defense with Omer Asik and Anthony Davis patrolling the paint.
    I expect the Magic to struggle this season on outside shooting and they've already shown that during the preseason by shooting 32.5% 3pts. With Orlando's offense being limited, I believe the Pelicans' offense will be sharp enough to make some damage on the other side of the court. Anthony Davis is a true superstar and close to unstoppable, especially when he will be guarded tonight by Kyle O'Quinn. With Victor Oladipo out by injury, Orlando will have to play without their best perimeter defender and with rookie Elfrid Peyton still learning the NBA basics, I believe the Pelicans' perimeter shooting to also have some edge in here. All signs point to a double digits win by New Orleans tonight and so, I'll take them in here.

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