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NBA Weekend Specials: Warriors and Lakers our picks

Fri, Oct 26, 3:06pm by Staff Writer

There are 16 games taking place this weekend in the NBA with ESPN Australia televising the Golden State Warriors’ trip to Madison Square Garden to play the New York Knicks and LeBron James’ visit to San Antonio to play the Spurs.

Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks

Saturday, 27 October 2018 at 10:30am at Madison Square Garden, New York

The defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors lost their only game of the season this week when they went down to Denver by two points.

Since then they have rattled off big home wins against Phoenix and Washington and will look to continue their hot start on the East Coast, starting with a game against the New York Knicks.

It is Golden State that has the advantage in this match up historically, winning the past eight games between the two teams.

Only one of those contests has been decided by less than 10 points and that was when the Warriors beat the Knicks 112-105 in March last year.

The Knicks have had a 1-4 start to the new season, but have been in most of their games so far.

A first-up 126-107 win against Atlanta has been followed up with losses to Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee and Miami.

New York is still without its best player in Latvian Kristaps Porzingis, but Tim Hardaway Jr has stepped up in his absence, averaging 27 points per game this season.

Centre Enes Kanter is putting up career best numbers of 19 points and 12 rebounds per game as well.

This game pits one of the worst teams in the NBA against one of the best in league history, so there is no doubt which team will be winning this one.

The Warriors are 2-3 against the spread this season and 0-2 on the road. If the line in this one is less than 12.5-points, then back the Warriors.

Any greater and you’re entering value territory for the Knicks, particularly given Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s tendency to rest his star players if they have a big lead late in games.

Best bet- Golden State Warriors to cover a 12.5-point handicap or lower

Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs

Sunday, 28 October 2018 at 11:30am at AT&T Center, San Antonio

These two successful franchises meet for the second time this week when they clash on Sunday in San Antonio.

It was the Spurs who prevailed 143-142 in an overtime thriller in Los Angeles to grab their second win of the season and consign the Lakers to their third loss in a row.

Australian Patty Mills hit what turned out to be a game-winning jump shot late in the game, as LeBron James missed a pair of late free throws and a game-winning three-point attempt.

Since that game, the Spurs lost by 20 points at home to Indiana, while the Lakers beat up on the Suns in Phoenix to record their first win of the season.

It’s a new era for the Spurs without the experience of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. They have managed to acquire DeMar DeRozan from Toronto, but their offense has appeared stagnate in the early stages of the season.

A lack of three-point shooting is hurting the Spurs, who are only getting up 27 triples a game.

Their defensive effort was non-existent against Indiana and it’s rare that the Gregg Popovich-coached Spurs play poorly in consecutive games.

It all finally gelled for the Lakers in Phoenix as they scored 131 points in blowing out the Suns.

All five LA starters scored in double figures, with seven players in total amassing at least 12 points.

Lance Stephenson led the way with 23 points from the bench, while LeBron James had 19 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds.

The Lakers have not been afraid of playing the Spurs in recent times and before their one-point loss this week, had won their past four games against the silver and black.

That run includes a two-game winning streak in San Antonio, as well as a series sweep of the Spurs a year ago.

The Lakers are more than capable of keeping pace with the Spurs from an attacking perspective, so it’s which team will play the better defence that will prevail.

We get the feeling LeBron will want to make up for his late miscues from earlier this week and beat an opponent he has historically struggled against.

Best bet- Los Angeles Lakers to win

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