Kobe sees his future isn’t with the Lakers

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As the NBA enters its second month of play the big news from this past week was Sunday’s poetic announcement by the LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant that this season will be his last.

Anointed early in his career as the likely successor to Michael Jordan as the NBA’s best player Bryant has largely lived up to that lofty expectation with 5 NBA Titles a highlight on his resume.

But, as in all sports, Father Time is undefeated and has finally caught up with the former superstar who has been plagued with injuries in addition to declining skills over the past few seasons.

By making the announcement this early in the season it enables the Lakers to have more time to plan their future while also allowing his many fans across the NBA to show their appreciation in his farewell tour around the league. This often translates to sellouts on the road for games in which the Lakers, as a team, are no longer a featured attraction.

Perfection and imperfection continued for another week as Golden State has started the season with a record 18 game winning streak heading into Monday night’s game at Utah, the first game of a 7 game road trip.

Philadelphia takes its 0-18 record into Tuesday night’s home game against the 2-14 Lakers. Their come-from-ahead loss in Memphis on Sunday tied the worst start in NBA history, a record set by the then New Jersey Nets in 2009.

At the same time the 76ers lost their 28th consecutive game dating back to last season, a record for most consecutive losses by a team in any major North American sport.

The early line for Tuesday’s game opened as a pick ‘em and readers of GamingToday are on edge to see, when this edition hits the streets on Tuesday morning, if either Richard Saber or Mark Mayer will use this game as a selection in their “2 For Tuesday” piece. C’mon, guys. Let at least one of you have a pick for this game – and on a Side, not a Total!

Road teams are still winning the pointspread wars with a 139-112-2 ATS record for 55.4 percent winners.

Underdogs overall are covering at a 52.8 percent clip (131-117-2) with road underdogs performing very well at 95-73-2 (56.6 percent).

Which puts road favorites – usually the poorest proposition in all major sports – at an early season profit. Through Sunday road favorites had gone 44-36 ATS for a winning percentage of 55.0 percent over what is still a small sample size.

UNDERS are still outpacing OVERS 138-107 with 8 pushes for 56.3 percent UNDERS, ignoring pushes.

Here’s a look at three games this weekend.

Friday

Brooklyn at New York: Despite their long and storied history the Knicks have played second fiddle on the court to the Nets in the nation’s top market for most of the past decade.

But the fortunes of both teams are changing and the Knicks appear to be a team on the rise with rookie Kristaps Porzingis – a controversial draft pick last June – having an immediate impact.

The Knicks had lost four straight through Sunday but hosted winless Philadelphia on Wednesday in their only game since. NEW YORK.

Saturday

Golden State at Toronto: Through Sunday the Warriors were still unbeaten at 18-0. This is the third game of a seven game road trip and the Raptors could present the biggest challenge to Golden State remaining perfect assuming they won at Utah and Charlotte during the week. 

Toronto is a top team in the East as they seek to avenge a pair of 20 plus point losses to the Warriors last season.

It’s dangerous in going against the Warriors who have won 13 overall and six of eight road games by double digits. The best way to support the Raptors will be through the Total. OVER.

Sunday

Phoenix at Memphis: After a promising 7-5 start Phoenix had lost four in a row before upsetting Toronto on Sunday.

In contrast Memphis started 3-6 but has gone 7-2 since, keyed largely to a return to the defensive prowess that marked their play last season. They’ve gotten their season average to below 100 points per game but the offense continues to be an issue and they are still being outscored by an average of 3.3 points per game.

Phoenix, despite a leaky defense, is outscoring foes by a point per game with an offense averaging 106.2 ppg, setting up this contrast in styles. Memphis is rested after hosting San Antonio on Thursday whereas the Suns are in the fifth of a six game road trip that ends in Chicago on Monday. MEMPHIS.

Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to GamingToday readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Email: [email protected]

About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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