The Nets are slowly starting to find their groove on the defensive end to become an NBA powerhouse. Meanwhile, the Spurs offer value in the Southwest Division following a hot start to the 2020-21 season.

Brooklyn Nets Catching Fire

It’s all starting to come together for the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve won five games on the bounce, including a thriller in Phoenix.

Starting the 4th quarter down 12, the Nets pulled it to 116-124 with 2:48 to play. The Phoenix Suns wouldn’t score again. James Harden and Jeff Green took turns cutting the deficit before Harden buried a three to take a 126-124 lead with 00:31 on the clock. Brooklyn found their way defensively with the game on the line, which is an encouraging sign.

They are on the second line of betting to win the NBA championship at $4.50. However, their struggles defensively have always been a concern. The Nets have the best offensive rating in the NBA but are flailing defensively to be ranked 23rd. Although their 113.6 defensive rating over the last fortnight ranks 16th in the league, so they are improving.

There is no questioning Brooklyn’s firepower on the offensive end. Now, it looks as though they’re closing the gap defensively.

Value In The Southwest Division?

Are the San Antonio Spurs good?

They’re 16-11 for 6th in the Western Conference and have won five of their last six to firmly plant themselves in the playoff picture. After finishing six games below .500 to be 11th in the conference last season, the Spurs are now at an appealing $1.77 to make the playoffs in 2020-21. However, the value in San Antonio lies elsewhere.

The Dallas Mavericks are starting to stay healthy and win games. They’ve won four of their last five, and most importantly, Kristaps Porzingis is putting up numbers including 36 points on 13-21 shooting against the Pelicans. Still, they’re only 13-15 and outside the playoff picture in the West. But despite their sub-500 record and San Antonio’s hot start to the season, Dallas remains in a $1.75 favourite to win the Southwest Division.

The Spurs, meanwhile, are out at $2.90 to retain their place at the top of the division. With the way they are playing now, Gregg Popovich’s history of dragging teams to the playoffs, and the Mavericks struggling for consistency so far this season, the Spurs are worth looking into as Southwest Division winners.

LaVine Lighting It Up

Zach LaVine has averaged 35.1 points, 54.7% FG%, 51.5% 3P%, 6.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game in his last eight.

He’s keeping the Chicago Bulls within touching distance of the NBA post-season ($5.20 to make playoffs).

All-Star Starters

The starters have been named for an All-Star game nobody seems to want.

Western Conference: Luka Doncic, Steph Curry, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard

Eastern Conference: Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid

This makes it 17 straight ASG’s for LeBron James while Kevin Durant continues to complete his incredible comeback from injury to be named East’s captain.

NBA Against The Spread Standings

Ah, the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ve lost 11 of their last 12 straight up – many by double digits. Now, they’re at the bottom of the NBA’s ATS Standings.

After Week 9

Top 10
Bottom 10
Jazz (22-8)Lakers (14-17)
Suns (19-10)Grizzlies (13-12-1)
Clippers (18-13)Wizards (13-14)
Spurs (16-11)Nuggets (13-16)
Hornets (16-12-1)Kings (13-16)
Bulls (16-12-1)Pelicans (12-17)
Trail Blazers (16-13)Mavericks (11-17)
Knicks (16-14)Rockets (11-17)
Pistons (15-12-2)Heat (11-18-1)
76ers (15-13-2)Cavaliers (10-20)