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NBA News and Notes
by Matt Fargo - 10/31/2008
Portland will be playing its first home game on Friday against the Spurs. The Blazers will be without the services of Greg Oden who is out 2-4 weeks with a sprained foot. Joel Przybilla will start for the Blazers at center against San Antonio after he finished with four points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes against the Lakers. Portland was a dismal 34.5 percent from the floor in that game and now faces a team it is 0-12 in its last 12 against.
Speaking of the Lakers, they are making an early case to repeat as Western Conference Champions. They have won their first two games by 20 and 38 points while easily going 2-0 ATS. They will be playing their first game away from Staples Center as they head to Denver on Saturday to take on the Nuggets. Denver will have the services of Carmelo Anthony as his two-game suspension will be done after Friday against the Clippers.
The Celtics pulled up their 17th Championship banner on opening night and came away with a five-point non-cover against the Cavaliers. They remain home Friday to take on the Bulls who rolled over Milwaukee in their opener. It is a new look Chicago team as Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon came off the bench, making way for new starters Derrick Rose and Thabo Sefolosha. Boston went 4-0 SU and ATS last year against Chicago.
Mike Dâ€™Antoni had a successful debut in New York as his Knicks held off a ferocious Miami rally to win by five points. His run and gun style was in play as New York piled up 120 points and built a 23-point lead in the third quarter before holding on. Next up is a trip to Philadelphia who lost its opener at home to Toronto and spoiled the debut of Elton Brand. The home team has won and covered seven of the last nine games.
The first ever game in Oklahoma City did not go as planned for the Thunder as they were beaten by the Bucks 98-87. They now go out on the road to take on the Rockets on Saturday which is the first of 11 games in November against playoff teams from last season. Going back to last year, the Thunder have lost 24 of their last 29 games and they have defeated only two playoff teams since last February. Look for the struggles to go on.
Milwaukee bounced back from the loss to the Bulls to take out Oklahoma City as mentioned to even the record at 1-1 on the road. The Bucks are now one-seventh of the way of matching their road win total from last season as they went 7-34, tied for the second worst road record in the league. They take on the Knicks on Sunday in New York where they have lost three straight, last winning there in April, 2006.