Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 7:00 PM
Oddsmakers and sharps have been giving a lot of respect to the Golden State Warriors so far this season…but it hasn’t been enough! The Warriors have covered every game, and have put quite a distance between themselves and market expectations already. Does that mean that Golden State has replaced San Antonio as the best in the West, and therefore the entire NBA?
Wednesday Night’s nationally televised game against new archrival the Los Angeles Clippers may tell us a lot about that. Many pundits were picking the Clippers as the breakthrough team in 2014-15 because they had their ownership issues behind them and were ready to focus 100% on basketball. To this point, the Clippers haven’t seemed very focused at all! They’re winning, but not playing to expectations against a schedule that should have been more manageable.
Let’s see what Jim Hurley’s indicator stats have to say about tonight’s matchup and early fortunes in the West.
LA Clippers: 106.5 per 100 possessions (ranked #9 in the NBA)
Golden State: 103.0 per 100 possessions (ranked #15 in the NBA)
It’s funny…the media has been raving about Golden State’s offense this year. But, they only rank #15 in efficiency. They’re playing at a very fast pace, as you’ll see in a moment. That’s creating the illusion of fantastic offense. It’s the visiting Clippers who have been more effective so far on a per-possession basis.
LA Clippers: 103.3 per 100 possessions (ranked #15 in the NBA)
Golden State: 87.5 per 100 possessions (ranked #1 in the NBA)
This is where Golden State really shines. That’s been hidden from the media because of their run-and-run approach. If you slow down their games, you’d see that Golden State is playing like Pat Riley’s Knicks trying to shut down Michael Jordan. As long as Andrew Bogut is healthy, they have a force in the middle that discourages opponents in the paint. Speed and athleticism elsewhere in the lineup already creates a lot of steals and disrupted shots. The Clippers are only league average defensively…and an “average” rank of #12 when you combine offensive and defense is well below what this team should be doing. This was supposed to be a championship contender.
LA Clippers: #13
Golden State: #1
Golden State is the fastest team in the NBA, which is why people think they’re all offense with a little defense…as opposed to a defensive juggernaut with an average offense. Those misperceptions could create some great opportunities in the coming days for handicappers. Be sure you stay on top of what teams are REALLY doing early in the season. The media is helping teams sell tickets and companies pitch product. YOU’RE trying to pick WINNERS!
Against the Spread
LA Clippers: 0-4
Golden State: 3-0
There you go…surprises that may allow close observers to take advantage for several more days to come. The Clippers have been very overrated out of the gate. Golden State is in championship form, albeit way too early to actually win a championship! As we publish this preview, a betting line hasn’t been posted yet in Las Vegas. Be sure you monitor the number closely to see how sharps and squares react to the possibilities in this big TV game.
JIM HURLEY loves early season NBA because the market is out of synch with so many teams. It takes oddsmakers forever to catch up because they’re so concerned about football. Plus, NBA teams themselves can be in a constant state of flux that makes it tough for casual observers to understand. Our exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach makes sure every angle is covered! Purchase daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages that include football and basketball. Don’t forget that college hoops will be here quick!
It’s back to football tomorrow in the NOTEBOOK. We’ll be previewing these big TV matchups in the coming days…
Thursday: NFL Preview…Cleveland at Cincinnati Thursday Night on the NFL Network
Friday: College Football Preview…an early look at Baylor at Oklahoma in the Big 12
Saturday: College Football Preview… Ohio State at Michigan State in the Big 10
Sunday: NFL Preview…Chicago at Green Bay Sunday Night on NBC
Monday: NFL Preview: Carolina at Philadelphia Monday Night on ESPN
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