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NBA Weekly Notes
NBA Weekly Notes
Weekly Notes - East
By Chris David
Weekly Recap - The Cavs wrapped up their wild five-game road trip Saturday with yet another wild finish. Cleveland held off the Clippers (102-101), which helped the team earn a 3-2 SU and 1-4 ATS mark on the trip. Four of the five games were decided by three points or less, including the losses at Denver (97-99) and Utah (96-97). The Jazz game was easily the craziest of the season and one that could cost the Cavs down the road, in terms of homecourt scenarios.
Weekly Outlook - Even though there are 12 games slated for the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday, the Cavs get the day off. Three games are on tap this week and all of them are at home, but the competition level is solid. A surging Toronto team visits Tuesday before a showdown against the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers happens Thursday. Then, the young guns from Oklahoma City invade Cleveland on Thursday.
Weekly Recap - The Celtics were once unbeatable at home but that hasn't been the case this season. After losing to Atlanta (96-102) last Monday and Chicago (83-96) last Wednesday, Doc Rivers' team is 11-6 SU and 6-11 ATS at home this season. Fortunately, Boston was able to salvage one win last week when it visited New Jersey (111-87) on Wednesday.
Weekly Outlook - Doc and company have a chance to reverse the trends at home this week when Dallas enters on Monday and then Portland on Friday. Boston is 8-4 against the Western Conference this year. Sandwiched between this pair is a road trip to Detroit on Wednesday.
Weekly Recap - The Hawks caught some breaks last week but that's the name of the game in the NBA sometimes. Three games and three wins for Atlanta, including a 102-101 victory over Phoenix on Friday, which saw shooting guard Jamal Crawford drill a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Hawks are 5-1 in their last six and 4-2 ATS.
Weekly Outlook - Atlanta catches three games at home this week and the first battle on Monday against Oklahoma City should be a great matchup, since the Thunder have proven to be legit this year. After this encounter, Sacramento comes to town on Wednesday before Charlotte visits on Friday. The Hawks are 16-4 SU and 14-6 ATS at home this season.
Weekly Recap - Stan Van Gundy's team has hit that midseason slide that nobody likes to talk about but it's true. The Magic are 2-6 both SU and ATS in their last six and the last two were by double digits at Denver (97-115) and at Portland (87-102). The offense has been limited during this stretch, which has watched the 'under' produce a 5-3 record.
Weekly Outlook - Orlando has a chance to answer the bell on Monday when it meets the L.A. Lakers at Staples Center. The Magic will be rested and they have gone 9-5 versus the West this year, despite losing two last week to the Nuggets and Trail Blazers. After the NBA Finals rematch in L.A., the Magic play the Pacers and Kings at home before a road trip to Charlotte on Saturday.
Weekly Recap - The Raptors started the week with a bad loss at Indiana (101-105) but rebounded nicely with wins at New York (112-104) and at home on Sunday against Dallas (110-88). Toronto has finally put itself into the black (21-20) in the standings, largely due to a 10-3 SU and 9-4 ATS run over the past few weeks.
Weekly Outlook - Toronto will look to stay hot when it starts the week with two road games in two nights on Tuesday. After facing Cleveland on Tuesday, they visit Milwaukee the next night. The Raptors finish up a home-and-home with the Bucks on Friday before a nice test against the L.A. Lakers on Sunday from Air Canada Centre.
Weekly Recap - The Heat wrapped up their six-game road trip on Saturday with a loss to Oklahoma City (80-98). Miami wound up going 3-3 both SU and ATS over that stretch. All three losses came by double digits and two of the three wins were by 10 or more as well.
Weekly Outlook - Miami will get a couple days off before playing four contests this week and the quartet is broken up into two back-to-back situations, home and away too. Indiana visits South Beach on Tuesday and then the team heads to Charlotte the next night. Then, the Heat head to D.C. to play the Wizards on Friday before heading back home to face Sacramento on Saturday.
Weekly Recap - Break up the Bobcats! Charlotte has quietly gone 8-2 in its last 10, which includes a perfect 3-0 record last week. And the wins came against the Rockets (102-94), Spurs (92-76) and Suns (125-99). The 'Cats are decent but double-digit wins versus San Antonio and Phoenix tell you a lot about those fading clubs. Larry Brown's team has gone 16-4 SU and 13-7 ATS at home this season.
Weekly Outlook - Charlotte gets a chance to improve on those home stats with three more homes games on tap this week. Sacramento and Miami will visit early in the week and then Orlando comes on Saturday, a game where the Bobcats will be playing on zero days rest because the team plays at Atlanta on Friday.
Weekly Recap - The Bulls posted a perfect 3-0 record last week, both SU and ATS, which extended their winning streak to four games. Two of the wins over the past seven days came at home and they were against the hapless Pistons and Wizards. However, the 96-83 road win at Boston shows you that Chicago might just be clicking. Gamblers should make a note that Vinny Del Negro's team is 12-4 ATS over the past 16 games.
Weekly Outlook - Its gut check time for Chicago, who will begin a seven-game road trip on Monday at Golden State. Another winnable game happens Wednesday against the Clippers but then the competition picks up with a back-to-back set against the Suns and Rockets, which starts Friday. The Bulls have struggled to a 4-13 SU and 7-10 ATS mark on the road.
9) New York
Weekly Recap - The Knicks had a bad week and they're lucky because it could've been real ugly. They went 1-3 both SU and ATS and the victory was a 93-92 decision against Philadelphia, which came on David Lee's late layup. The offense was in hibernation last week, which helped the 'under' go 3-1.
Weekly Outlook - New York has a good chance to get back on track with three home games on deck. After playing Detroit on Monday, the team steps up in class for the latter two. The L.A. Lakers visit on Friday and then Dallas comes on Sunday. The Knicks have gone 9-11 SU and 10-10 ATS at Madison Square Garden this year.
Weekly Recap - The Bucks continue their West Coast travels this past week and as expected, the team recorded a losing mark. Milwaukee went 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS, with the lone victory coming at Golden State (113-104). Head coach Scott Skiles missed Monday's setback at Phoenix (101-105), a game they covered, because of an irregular heartbeat. He returned to witness the one victory and a pair of double-digit losses.
Weekly Outlook - Milwaukee wraps up its six-game road trip on Monday with a battle at Houston. The Bucks return to the Bradley Center on Wednesday for the first game of a home-and-home series versus Toronto. After playing in Canada on Friday, the Bucks head back to Wisconsin for a battle against Minnesota on zero days rest. Eleven of Milwaukee's losses have come at home.
Weekly Recap - It took 13 losses, but finally the Pistons found a way to capture a victory. Detroit started the week with a 33-point (87-120) loss at Chicago but bounced back with three consecutive wins and most importantly three straight covers too. Two of the wins came as live underdogs, helping money-line players who backed Detroit outright. Even though the Pistons dropped 13 in a row, they're still only 4 ½-games back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the top-heavy East.
Weekly Outlook - The action for Detroit starts Monday when they visit New York, who will be looking to avenge Saturday's 94-90 loss to the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. After the holiday battle, the club opens up a six-game homestand that features games against Boston, Indiana and Portland this week. Winning at home is huge for Detroit since it owns a dreadful 4-16 road ledger.
Weekly Recap - We won't get ahead of ourselves but the Pacers are starting to get healthy and come together a little bit. The club went 3-1 both SU and ATS this week and two of the victories watched Indiana rally past Toronto (105-101) and Phoenix (122-114). The three-game winning streak stopped Saturday against a red-hot New Orleans (96-101) squad.
Weekly Outlook - The Pacers stick with the up-temp pace this week with another four-game set on tap. Indiana will catch two days of rest before playing the Heat and Magic in consecutive nights, which starts Tuesday in Miami. Thursday will be a travel day and then the Pacers face the Pistons on the road and 76ers at home in another back-to-back installment.
Weekly Recap - After Gilbert Arenas admitted his mistakes and pleaded guilty to a felony gun possession charge, the Wizards continued their slide. Fortunately, they closed the week with a 96-86 win over Sacramento at home on Saturday, which snapped a four-game skid. The team has gone 2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS since "Agent Zero" was suspended indefinitely.
Weekly Outlook - The Wizards face three strong teams this week at home, starting with Portland on Monday afternoon. Dallas visits Verizon Center on Wednesday and then Miami heads to the nation's capital on Friday. Seven of Washington's 13 victories have come at home this year. The club has gone 6-12 ATS over that span.
Weekly Recap - The 76ers almost pulled off a 3-0 sweep but a tough home loss to New York (93-92) on Wednesday left the club at 2-1 both SU and ATS. The two victories came against a pair of teams from the West, New Orleans (96-92) and Sacramento (98-86). The defense was good, yet the offense wasn't spectacular, which helped the 'under' go 3-0 over that span.
Weekly Outlook - Four games on the docket for Philadelphia this week, including an early afternoon battle at Minnesota on Monday. Portland visits on Wednesday before Dallas invades the Wachovia Center on Friday. Quickly after the Mavs, the team will head to Indiana for a game played on zero days rest. The 76ers are 6-11 versus the West this season.
15) New Jersey
Weekly Recap - Every season in every sport, you're going to have a real bad team that gets bullied around in wire-to-wire fashion. Sometimes, you'll see a glimmer of hope and signs of rebuilding amount on the horizon. Unfortunately, I can't even say that about New Jersey. Nearly at the midway point of the season, the Nets are 3-36. They're currently on a seven-game skid and five of those came by double digits.
Weekly Outlook - To make matters worse, the Nets play four games this week, all on the road too. New Jersey starts its West Coast trip on Monday for an afternoon battle against the L.A. Clippers. The trip resumes Wednesday at Phoenix and concludes on Saturday with a back-to-back set against the Warriors and Jazz. Four games in five nights isn't a good situation for great teams to face.
Re: NBA Weekly Notes
Weekly Notes - West
By Kevin Rogers
1 - Lakers
Weekly Rewind: L.A.'s trip to Texas was a wash, with the Lakers falling by 20 at San Antonio and picking up a five-point victory at Dallas. The Lakers returned home to blast the Clippers, 126-86, nine days after an 11-point setback against their cross-town rivals.
Weekly Outlook: Pau Gasol is back and healthy for the Purple and Gold, who hosts the Magic in a NBA Finals rematch on Monday night. The Lakers will hit the road for an eight-game trip which starts on Thursday in Cleveland. L.A. travels with no rest to New York on Friday, prior to a trip north of the border on Sunday to battle the Raptors.
2 - Mavericks
Weekly Rewind: Dallas has turned into pointspread poison recently, going 1-6 ATS the last seven games, including an 0-3 ATS week. The Mavs fell at home to the Lakers, 100-95, then proceeded to squeeze out a one-point victory over the Thunder. Dallas failed to cover against Oklahoma City, moving the Mavs' non-cover streak to 14 in a row as a home favorite. Dallas didn't finish the week strong, dropping a 110-88 decision on Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
Weekly Outlook: The Mavs continue a five-game East Coast trip in Boston on Monday night to battle the Celtics. Dallas will have one day off in between each of its next three games at Washington (Wednesday), Philadelphia (Friday), and New York (Sunday).
3 - Nuggets
Weekly Rewind: My how things change when the league's top scorer is healthy. Carmelo Anthony returned from a five-game absence to lead the Nuggets to victories over the Wolves, Magic, and Jazz. Denver finished the week 1-1-1 ATS, as the Nuggets are 5-12-2 ATS the last 19 games.
Weekly Outlook: The Nuggets make a quick trip to Oakland on Wednesday to battle the Warriors. Denver's following three games come at the Pepsi Center with the Clippers in town on Thursday, as both teams will play with no rest. George Karl's team hosts the Hornets on Saturday, a rematch of last season's first round playoff victory by the Nuggets.
4 - Spurs
Weekly Rewind: The week began great for the Spurs, knocking off the Lakers, 105-85 at home. San Antonio turned around without Tim Duncan the next night and edged Oklahoma City in overtime, 109-108. The aging legs started to show their wear in losses at Charlotte and Memphis, as the Spurs could only muster 76 and 86 points, respectively.
Weekly Outlook: Three teams right in the thick of playoff contention in the West will test the Spurs this week, starting with the Hornets on Monday in New Orleans. San Antonio comes home to host Utah on Wednesday, trying to knock off the Jazz for the first time in three tries this season. The Spurs conclude the week on Friday, battling a Rockets team that will be playing with three days of rest.
5 - Blazers
Weekly Rewind: Portland had a relatively simple week, winning both its contests at home by double-digit margins. The Blazers easily topped the Bucks, 120-108, but Brandon Roy suffered a hamstring injury. Roy sat out Friday's victory over the Magic, wrapping up a five-game homestand at 3-2 SU/ATS.
Weekly Outlook: The Blazers travel cross-country for four games this week, starting with an early tip-off at Washington on Monday. Portland heads to Philadelphia on Wednesday, trying to avenge a nine-point home loss to the Sixers two weeks ago. The Blazers take part in a back-to-back set beginning Friday in Boston, then Saturday in Detroit.
6 - Suns
Weekly Rewind: Phoenix's high-octane offense is suddenly hitting the skids, dropping three of four games both SU and ATS. The Suns held off a feisty Bucks squad on Monday, 105-101, but failed to cover as 9 ½-point 'chalk.' Phoenix's four-game road trip started with promise, building a 24-point lead at Indiana. However, the Pacers rallied back for a 122-114 victory, beginning a tail-spin for Alvin Gentry's team. The Suns lost at the buzzer at Atlanta (but managed to cover), then were blown away at Charlotte, allowing 43 first-quarter points to the Bobcats.
Weekly Outlook: The road trip concludes in Memphis on Monday afternoon with the Suns trying to avenge a 25-point home loss to the Grizzlies on January 2. Phoenix returns to its home roots for three very winnable games starting with woeful New Jersey on Wednesday. The Bulls invade the Valley on Friday, followed by a visit from the Warriors on Saturday.
7 - Jazz
Weekly Rewind: Utah is coming off an interesting week, going 3-1 SU and 2-0-2 ATS. The Jazz drilled the Heat to start the week, 116-89 in Deron Williams' first game back from a three-game absence (wrist injury). Jerry Sloan's squad finished off the Cavs, 97-96 in one of the wilder finishes of the season, but pushed as one-point favorites. Utah took care of Milwaukee, but fell at Denver by seven, the third loss this season to the Nuggets.
Weekly Outlook: The Jazz take the court just twice this week, first heading to San Antonio on Wednesday. Utah is 2-0 against the Spurs, including a 90-83 victory at the AT&T Center in mid-November, but San Antonio played without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The Jazz then get the honor of hosting the Nets on Saturday, as New Jersey plays with no rest.
8 - Rockets
Weekly Rewind: It was a rough week for Houston backers, going 0-3 ATS, while the Rockets won just one game. The lone victory wasn't easy, as Houston outlasted Minnesota in three overtimes. Sandwiched around that win was an eight-point loss at Charlotte and a nine-point setback to the Heat.
Weekly Outlook: Houston will travel very little over the next two weeks, playing seven of the next eight games at the Toyota Center starting with Milwaukee on Monday. The Rockets' sole road game comes at San Antonio on Friday, prior to a Saturday home meeting with Chicago. Rick Adelman's team is 0-6 ATS the last six as an away underdog, so keep that in mind when the Rockets take on the Spurs.
9 - Thunder
Weekly Rewind: Oklahoma City split four games, with both losses coming to Texas teams. The Thunder began the week by blowing out the Knicks, but fell in overtime to the Spurs by one point two nights later. OKC couldn't get over the hump in Dallas, losing by one point again, but managed to cover as five-point 'dogs. The Thunder concluded the week by cooling the Heat, 98-80, only the second cover in eight tries against teams playing with no rest.
Weekly Outlook: The Thunder hits the highway for four games, starting with a trek to Atlanta on Monday afternoon. OKC heads to Minnesota on Wednesday for the teams' first meeting this season. Scott Brooks' squad battles the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday, then the Thunder wraps up the trip in Cleveland on Saturday.
10 - Grizzlies
Weekly Rewind: Things are heating up in Memphis, as the Grizzlies are riding a three-game winning streak following victories over the Clippers, Wolves, and Spurs. The only non-cover came against Los Angeles, with the Grizzlies rallying from a fourth-quarter, double-digit deficit to edge the Clips by two. Memphis has won a franchise-best eight consecutive games at home, while sneaking into the playoff conversation in the West.
Weekly Outlook: The target is square on Memphis' back, hosting a struggling Suns team on Monday. The Grizzlies make a quick trip to New Orleans on Wednesday for the first meeting between the Southwest rivals this season. Memphis returns home for an intriguing matchup on Friday against Oklahoma City.
11 - Hornets
Weekly Rewind: Following a six-game winning streak, the Hornets split four games both SU and ATS. New Orleans fell at Philadelphia by four, but returned home to slap down the banged-up Clippers by 14. The Hornets lost an overtime battle in Detroit before holding off the Pacers in Indianapolis as road 'dogs.
Weekly Outlook: New Orleans returns to the Big Easy for a pair of showdowns with division opponents, starting with San Antonio on Monday. The Hornets welcome in the Grizzlies on Wednesday, with Jeff Bower's club owning a 5-2 ATS mark the last seven at home. New Orleans heads back on the road for four games, starting with Minnesota (Friday) and Denver (Saturday).
12 - Clippers
Weekly Rewind: It's clear how valuable Chris Kaman is to the Clippers after an 0-4 SU/2-2 ATS week. Los Angeles covered at Memphis despite blowing a substantial fourth-quarter lead. The Clips were blown out the next two games, falling by 14 at the Hornets and 40 to the Lakers. L.A. squandered another large advantage against Cleveland, but managed to cash in a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Cavs.
Weekly Outlook: The Clips stay at home for two games before a ridiculously long eight-game road trip. L.A. welcomes in New Jersey on Monday afternoon, followed by a visit from Chicago on Wednesday. Mike Dunleavy's squad heads to Denver on Thursday, then to the Eastern seaboard on Sunday to take on the Wizards.
13 - Kings
Weekly Rewind: Will the early-season Kings please stand up? Sacramento is 1-8 SU and 1-7-1 ATS the last nine games, falling from the ranks as one of the better ATS teams through the first two months. The Kings played the Magic tough for three quarters before getting annihilated in the final quarter, the sixth home loss in eight tries. Kevin Martin returned to the Sacramento lineup as the team went east for a six-game road trip. Martin's comeback didn't help the Kings pick up wins with Sacramento falling at Philadelphia and Washington.
Weekly Outlook: The week doesn't ease up for Paul Westphal's team, taking on the suddenly-hot Bobcats on Monday afternoon. Sacramento travels to Atlanta on Wednesday, then heads to the Sunshine State to take on Orlando (Friday) and Miami (Saturday).
14 - Warriors
Weekly Rewind: Golden State was riding a nice ATS streak, covering seven of eight games heading into last week. The Warriors squeezed out a pointspread cover against the Cavs in a three-point loss, but their luck ran out there. Golden State lost by 13 to Miami, then fell apart in the second half of a nine-point setback to Milwaukee.
Weekly Outlook: Don Nelson's club is losing players by the minute, as both Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph are sidelined due to injury. The Warriors continue their homestand with the Bulls on Monday afternoon. Golden State entertains Denver on Wednesday, followed by a visit from New Jersey on Friday. The Warriors wrap up the week in Phoenix on Saturday, owning a 4-1 ATS mark the last five on the road.
15 - Timberwolves
Weekly Rewind: The road was unkind to the young Wolves, as Minnesota wrapped up a four-game trip winless. The Wolves managed pointspread wins at Denver and Houston, but ran out of gas in a 25-point loss at Memphis. Minnesota has now finished 'over' the total in four of its last five contests.
Weekly Outlook: The Wolves take the court four times this week with three games at the Target Center. Minnesota hosts Philadelphia on Monday, followed by a Wednesday visit from Oklahoma City. Kurt Rambis' squad hosts New Orleans on Friday, as the Wolves have covered twice in two losses to the Hornets. The week concludes with a short trip to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks.