So what’s next for the Los Angeles Clippers after their 17-game winning streak was snapped by Denver on Tuesday night? They’ve still got the best record in the league and are the only team ranked as high on offense and defence in the NBA. But is it time to take advantage of their status as high-priced 9.00 favourites for the championship while the going’s good?
The answer is yes and no. It’s still too soon to pile on the Clips for the title while Oklahoma City and Miami remain so formidable. But there’s no doubt that when Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill return, they'll have an opportunity to get even better. On current form, they’re worth a punt at these long odds.
Short-term, they’ll target a return to winning ways tonight with a trip to Golden State Warriors in the first of two meetings inside four days of the leading duo in the Pacific Division. Like Denver, the Warriors are formidable at home, winning nine of their last 11 and in their last three games, they’ve held each opponent under 90 points en route to victory.
The Clips are favoured by -1.5 on the handicap but don’t be shocked if their hosts steal the win here.
Minnesota head to Utah on the back of three successive losses on the road and their task will be made all the more difficult by the absence of Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves should be better than their 14-13 record with Kevin Love’s shooting slump partially to blame.
It’s worse however for Utah who have lost three straight, and seven of their last nine games. But the Jazz should be able to call the tune here so back the hosts on the handicap of -1.5 and expect the total points to be over 198.
The new owners of the longest winning streak are San Antonio who’ll go for a seventh straight on their travels at Milwaukee. The Spurs have won 10 of 15 this season with 1 days rest but they were able to coast in Monday’s thrashing of Brooklyn. But the Bucks have proved that when Brandon Jennings steps up, they can beat the NBA’s elite and they’re a tempting +5.5 on the handicap.
Bet of the Day: Take Golden State on the handicap over the LA Clippers.