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The NBA season is a month old and Washington is still looking for its first win of the season. There’s been no magic for the Wizards through their first 11 games. 

The team is without some key players, and they’ve come close, having suffered a pair of single overtime losses and a double overtime setback this past Saturday.

That double OT loss was at home and against one of the early season surprise teams, Charlotte. The Bobcats, who set a record for futility with a 7-59 record last season (.106 winning percentage) have started this season by matching those 7 wins of last season’s shortened schedule. 

At 7-5 Charlotte is in third place in the Southeast Division. And although it’s very early, their fans have to be pleased, if not startled, to see the Bobcats with the sixth best record in the Eastern Conference.

New York City’s two entries in the Association continue to play well as the New York Knicks are 9-3 and just a half game behind Miami for the best record in the East and the Brooklyn Nets are 8-4.

The Central Division has been the Division of mediocrity in the season’s first month with 6-5 Milwaukee sitting atop the Division, a half-game ahead of Chicago.

Memphis continues to lead the West with its 9-2 record but is being pressed by San Antonio. The veteran Spurs are off to a solid 11-3 start and appear to again be a leading contender if they can stay healthy.

Mike D’Antoni finally made his coaching debut with the Los Angeles Lakers who have climbed back to .500 with a 7-7 record as the week begins. Los Angeles’ “other” entry, the Clippers, still lead the Pacific Division but start the week on a 3 game losing streak (all on the road) to fall to just 8-5.

Oklahoma City is also off to a solid start at 10-4 and start the week as winners of 4 of its last 5 games, falling at Boston last Friday.

The aging Celtics have started 8-6 and are one of four teams with winning records in the Atlantic Division, joining New York, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

Through the season’s first four weeks Home Teams have a losing point spread record (93-98-4, 48.7 percent) with Home Underdogs a disappointing 27-33-0 ATS (45.0 percent).

The OVERS hold a slight 100-92-3 edge in totals through the season’s first 195 games with the average contest producing 195.

Here’s a look at three games this weekend.

Denver at LA Lakers (Fri): Two of the top teams in the West meet in Friday’s best NBA matchup. Starting the week Denver had played 9 road games and just 5 at home, the exact reverse of the Lakers’ early season schedule. The Nuggets are off a Thursday night road game in Golden State while the Lakers last played on Tuesday, hosting Indiana. 

The Lakers will be a more up-tempo team under new coach Mike D’Antoni and that should be a tactic they can successfully use here against what could be a tired foe playing a fourth game in six nights. LA LAKERS.

Brooklyn at Miami (Sat): These teams meet for a second time this season but in a scheduling quirk, both have been at Miami. In their first meeting, on Nov. 7, the Heat were 10½ point favorites and routed the Nets 103-73. That result may have the Heat a similarly large favorite in this rematch as will the fact that Brooklyn played Friday night in Orlando while Miami last played Thursday night at home against San Antonio. 

Their first meeting came just three games into the season for the Nets who have several new players in key roles. It takes time for new personnel to gel and for chemistry to develop and we should see a more competitive effort in this game. NEW JERSEY.

Phoenix at New York (Sun): In this battle between the two former D’Antoni employers the Knicks have become a much better defensive team since their ex-coach left in the middle of last season than has Phoenix. Despite allowing 114 and 131 points in a recent road trip to Dallas and Houston, New York has played excellent defense for current coach Mike Woodson. 

The Knicks allow a league best 87.6 points per game at home, the only team holding road foes below 90 ppg. Phoenix is yielding just over 100 points per game on the road. NEW YORK.

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

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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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