It’s only February, but we are getting dangerously close to “stick a fork in ‘em’” territory for the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas suffered what could be one of the worst regular-season losses I have ever seen last night, getting blown out by Golden State 147-116 at home.
The Warriors’ frontcourt was decimated by injury, with James Wiseman, Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss all unavailable. Hours before the game Eric Paschall was ruled out as well, forcing Steve Kerr to play 6-foot-6 Juan Toscano-Anderson at center for stretches in this game. Surely Dallas would take advantage, and blast Golden State inside the paint, right?
Instead, the Mavericks attempted just 17 shots at the rim, hit only eight of them and were outrebounded 45-42 by the Warriors. Dallas fell to 1-7 SU/ATS in its last eight games with the worst defensive rating (122.0) and net rating (-10.7) over that stretch. The Mavericks are now three full games behind the Rockets for the 10th seed, the final qualifying spot for the play-in tournament this season. With less than a third of the season in the books they are halfway home to locking in the under on their win total (42.5).
There is a lesson for the betting market here as well. When Paschall was ruled out the line shifted to Dallas -4.5 at almost every shop. It seemed like one win was all the market needed to believe in the Mavericks again, but it is very clear the issues run deep in Dallas.
Let’s get to Friday’s slate, shall we?
Note: * indicates that team is on second leg of a back-to-back.
Updated injury reports can be found here.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets (-5, 243)
There still seems to be some tepid respect for Toronto in the betting market, but I am not so sure it is deserved. Yes, the Raptors are coming off of a series sweep (by an average of 14 points) of Orlando, but it’s a Magic team that is 4-13 SU/5-12 ATS since the start of January with the worst offensive rating (103.6) and net rating (-9.6) in the league. Congratulations?
It is not a coincidence that Toronto posted two fantastic defensive performances against one of the worst offenses in the league, but this the Brooklyn Nets today. Brooklyn is + 17.0 with a 127.5 offensive rating in the minutes with Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Joe Harris and Kevin Durant on the floor. The Raptors have declined on defense this season, ranking 14th according to Cleaning The Glass (111.4), and they will be without a key wing defender in OG Anunoby tonight.
Oddsmakers originally hung Brooklyn -5 and the initial move was toward Toronto, but we’ve seen some correction in prominent global shops. The Nets are back at the opening number, and I would expect it to stay here if not close closer to six by the time tip-off arrives.
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers (-5, 221)