Is it all over for Derrick Rose?

I put a lot of stock into Rose’s absence as a large reason behind Cleveland’s resurgence. They are a better team without him on the floor and the numbers back that up. I go into it more here, but it’s worth recapping with news of his possible retirement surfacing yesterday.

Tonight, we’ve got 10 games on the slate, but there are slim-pickings in terms of value. The first thing you’re going to need to check is the injury reports. The injury bug is contagious at the moment and a couple more players went down last night.

Spurs (11-7) @ Hornets (8-10)

The Hornets are playing their second night of a back-to-back. In their two games with zero days rest this season, the Hornets are 2-0, but their 40.3-percent shooting in those games has alarm bells ringing for me.

Add that to the five times San Antonio has had two days rest in which they then produce a 93.6 defensive rating and the Spurs as an underdog looks really good.

They do have an awful 1-7 record on the road against the spread, though. The Hornets, on the other hand, have dominated in Charlotte to produce a 7-2 record both straight up and against the spread. Trends say one thing, but the Spurs are rested and could win this game on coaching alone.

Greg Popovich has had two days to prepare for this game and has already beaten the Hornets once this season.  He will have LaMarcus Aldridge, in particular, ready to go on the back of the Hornets giving up 23.6 points per game at the power forward position.

After opening as +1 underdogs, 68 percent of the bets have been on the Spurs leading some books to move the line to -1. Either way, I like San Antonio a lot tonight.

Pick: Spurs -1

Pelicans (11-8) @ Warriors (14-5)

DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis make up the best frontcourt in the NBA – offensively, anyway.

Tonight they go up against Zaza Pachulia and Draymond Green, and while I don’t expect the Pelicans to get a win, I do expect their frontcourt, Cousins especially, to put up big numbers.

The pair managed 35 points apiece last time they met with Pachulia and Green unable to stop them around the rim. Cousins and Davis shot a combined 83 percent at the hoop and will no doubt employ similar tactics tonight.

It’s not only elite centers that have been dominating the Warriors. No team allows opposing centers to score more than the 25.6 points the Warriors allow at the position per game.

Where Cousins will get a significant advantage is in his ability to drag Pachulia out the perimeter where opponents are connecting on 36 percent of their long-range shots when guarded by the Georgian.

The Pelicans did play last night but thrashed the Suns which allowed Cousins to spend plenty of time on the bench. He will be ready to go tonight.

Pick: Cousins Over 24.5 points

Remaining Games:

Trail Blazers (11-8) @ Wizards (10-8)

Magic (8-11) @ 76ers (10-7)

Raptors (11-7) @ Hawks (4-15)

Knicks (10-8) @ Rockets (14-4)

Celtics (17-3) @ Pacers (11-8)

Thunder (8-10) @ Mavericks (4-15)

Bucks (9-8) @ Jazz (8-11)

Clippers (6-11) @ Kings (5-13)

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