NBA Sunday Tipsheet: Durant revelling in New York spotlight
With probable free-agent Kevin Durant in town, is New York getting a sneak peek of the Knicks' future? Mark Kirwan looks to meeting of the Nets and Warriors at the Barclays Center...
'With his contract up next summer, there are strong rumours he'll switch coasts and line out in blue and orange next year, and he gave Knicks fans a special performance on Friday night, dropping 25 points in just the fourth quarter to lift his current team over his possible future one.'
Durant's NY audition?
Golden State Warriors @ Brooklyn Nets
October 28, 21:00
Live on Sky Sports Arena
The Warriors are half way through their New York swing and look to be enjoying the bright lights of the Big Apple.
Kevin Durant certainly is.
With his contract up next summer, there are strong rumours he'll switch coasts and line out in blue and orange next year, and he gave Knicks fans a special performance on Friday night, dropping 25 points in just the fourth quarter to lift his current team over his possible future one.
It's worth noting that Golden State needed to post up those 47 points in the closing 12 minutes to turn around that game. Well, "needed to" might be overstating it - they won by 128-100 - but they were trailing through three quarters at MSG.
They head to Brooklyn on Sunday evening - hopefully they haven't followed their coach's advice and are in game shape - to take on a Nets team that are posing more problems than might be expected for better opponents.
They're 3-2 against the spread, and should've had a big win over the Pelicans in New Orleans, but managed to lose in regulation despite leading by eight points with two minutes remaining.
As the second leg of a three-game road trip for the Warriors, the Nets are playing tougher than many expected, and though the crushing loss in New Orleans figures to knock their confidence, GSW will likely be looking to Chicago next and getting back home. Look to Under 226 on the total points market at 10/11 on the Sportsbook in this one.
Storm brewing in OKC
Phoenix Suns @ Oklahoma City Thunder
October 28, 23:00
Live on Betfair Video
Thursday saw the Thunder limit the Celtics to 37 first half points, but a 16-1 run for Boston in the fourth won it. Now, OKC are winless through four for the first time since they changed from green and moved from Seattle.
Their offensive stats are horrible - they're dead last in shooting percentage and three-point shooting, and third last in points-per-game. These numbers are early-season outliers, but this is a team that's supposed to have playoff aspirations. They'll need to start making some buckets soon.
And that should happen tonight, because they're facing a Phoenix team who could be the worst in the league. The Suns are coming from a beatdown in Memphis last night too, so should be fatigued.
Now they play a team that need to get it's act together fast.
Devin Booker will likely be out for the Suns, and Russell Westbrook may miss the game for OKC. Even though 14 is a big number, we think the Thunder need to make a statement and are well-matched against a team giving up a lot of turnovers.
Given the spot, and the fact that Phoenix are now 1-4 against the spread, including double-digit covers by Denver and Golden State, we'll take Oklahoma City -14 at 10/11.
Jazz finding their rhythm
Utah Jazz @ Dallas Mavericks
October 28, 23:00
Live on Betfair Video
Salt Lake City's not been flush with wins for the Jazz so far, but their road form is covering for them.
Last night they handed the Pelicans their first loss of the season after Anthony Davis was ruled out late with an elbow injury. Rudy Gobert was dominant around the rim and Ricky Rubio found some form after a slow start.
Utah led through three and the starters were given some time to rest, which may help them in this back-to-back road spot.
The Mavs are may be still without Dennis Smith and Devin Harris in the back court. They do have rookie Luka Doncic scoring at a rate, but need to defend deep-shooters better - they're allowing opponents to score on almost half of all three-pointers at 48%! Joe Ingles could be huge for Utah.
Dallas are 3-2 against the spread, but have failed to cover against weaker teams, games they should be more evenly matched in. That form isn't sustainable, and the Jazz only have to cover four points here at [1.9]. They can do that now they're hitting their stride, even playing just a night after New Orleans.
1pt on Under 226 in Golden State Brooklyn @ 10/11 on the Sportsbook
1pt on Oklahoma City Thunder -14 @ 10/11 on the Sportsbook
1pt on Utah Jazz -4 @ 1.9 on the Exchange