NBA Pick #1: 507 Oklahoma City Thunder @ 508 Brooklyn Nets
Rating: 5 units - Top Play
Pick: Over 220.5 (Play up to 223)
Odds: -104 / 1.96 on Pinnacle Sports OR -110 / 1.91 on Bookmaker
We took Oklahoma City on their last game against Detroit for an easy win. If it wasn't for the garbage time on the fourth quarter, the Thunder would have scored close to 120 points in that game. They are playing with great tempo, attacking the paint and scoring in transition. On the other side, Brooklyn's defense has solid interior numbers, but their guards just can't guard against dribble penetrations and this will put them in a lot of trouble against Westbrook and Schroder.
The Thunder had a great defensive game against the Pistons as well, as they keep Blake and Drummond in check and that put pressure on the Pistons to be sharp on their perimeter shooting. With Bullock getting injured early in the game, Detroit was unable to do that with only 6-32 3pts. On the other hand, Brooklyn's offense has the ability to shoot well from the outside, but they were unable to do that with Harris out because of an injury.
The Nets struggled offensively without Harris, their top 3-point shooter. The fifth-year veteran spoke to the media after Tuesday’s practice session.
“Ready to go. Everybody’s ready to bounce back. The energy level was a lot higher (Tuesday) in practice than it has been in a while, which is good. It’s obviously tough with this skid we’ve been on, but everybody’s still coming in optimistic, positive spirits, ready to bounce back.”
In three games without Harris, the Nets scored a season-low 88 points in a loss to the Washington Wizards in DC on Saturday, shot worse than 40 percent in each of their last two games and struggled from 3-point range. Now with Harris back, I believe Brooklyn's spread offense will shoot a lot of three pointers and with considerable success, helped by a relax spot for the Thunder's defense. I see this game being an all-out offensive game and so, I'll be taking the Over in here in a Top Play!