Brooklyn Nets vs Denver Nuggets (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 00.35 GMT)
It really has reached crisis time for the Brooklyn Nets. A miserable 5-12 record. Paul Pierce joining Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko on the sidelines. And coach Jason Kidd resorting to dropping drinks on the court in a futile attempt to help his ailing team pick up a rare victory. Yes, $100 million well spent.
There was a rare light amid the gloom on Saturday when the Nets managed to see off Memphis, but the Denver Nuggets will likely prove a much more awkward test when they come to NYC on Monday.
Brooklyn’s stagnant offense is a glaring problem but more worryingly, they’re next to last in the NBA in points conceded per 100 possessions. With their visitors third in pace, and averaging 104.9 points per game, that tempo could play right into the Nuggets’ hands.
Kidd was always going to be under the microscope as a complete novice, promoted straight from playing to running an ambitious team. Being in New York only turns up the spotlight but his own approach - delegating playcalling to assistants and appearing somewhat unsure of the protocols – has already raised questions about his appointment.
If the Nets continue to struggle, his job insecurity could add another damaging dimension to their woes. Even with a full-strength roster, there have been no signs that this is a potential contender. And with Denver on a six-game winning streak, and Brooklyn short on idea, look at the Nuggets to strike gold on the match handicap of -4.5.
Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors
Another team with high expectations and an uncertain start were the Golden State Warriors but slowly they seem to be righting their ship. They’re 5-2 at home and the visit of the slumping Toronto Raptors represents an ideal chance to keep moving up the standings.
The Warriors are averaging 102.9 points per game while Toronto, whose bench is non-productive, are 1-8 while conceding over 92. Expect a convincing Golden State win but look under the total points line of 201, available at 1.91.
Best bet: Take Denver over Brooklyn on the handicap of -4.5 at 1.91.