Mavericks at Clippers – NBA Pick for February 5th
- Spread:Clippers -7 (-105)
It’s now been a week since the L.A. Clippers made the shocking decision to trade Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons. While most saw the move as a blatant signal that the team was inevitably headed toward a complete teardown, we’ve still heard very little on the rumor mill about the likes of DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. Both players are set to hit the free agent market this summer, so it makes sense that the Clips would look to find a new home for at least one of them before the looming trade deadline.
News can always break at any time, but for now, we have to operate as if both Jordan and Williams will be in uniform for the Clippers tonight when they host the Dallas Mavericks. The Clips won their first game with their newcomers, Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley, over the weekend. Harris contributed 24 points in his LAC debut as L.A. toppled the Bulls, 113-103.
The Clips will host a Mavs team coming off a win against the Kings over the weekend. With the win, Dallas moved out of the bottom of the Western Conference. They’re now a half-game up on Sacramento with a record of 17-36. The Clippers, meanwhile, are still very much alive in the playoff hunt. They enter Monday’s action at 26-25, a game behind Denver for the final playoff spot.
Without Griffin, the Clippers are having to change their offense completely. Griffin served as a do-it-all playmaking hub. Without him, the team doesn’t have a player capable of replicating those responsibilities. So, it’s going to be a group effort. Harris is a more talented perimeter scorer, while players like Williams, Milos Teodosic and Bradley will have to pick up the slack from a facilitating perspective.
They looked good against the Bulls over the weekend, but it’s going to be interesting to see how this team stacks up against more talented squads. Fortunately, tonight’s opponent doesn’t present that kind of challenge. There is talent on the Dallas roster, but they have essentially just started their rebuild. Outside of Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr., there aren’t many long-term building blocks currently in place.
The spread of 7 points looked a little hefty, especially considering the jury is out on what kind of team the Clippers will be down the stretch. Barnes is currently listed as questionable to play with an ankle injury, though, which could help explain why the spread is so big. Barnes has been serving as the Mavs’ No. 1 option offensively. Without him, what is already a bad offense is going to struggle tremendously to put the ball through the hoop.
The Dallas roster doesn’t have a clear backup small forward option, so it’ll be interesting to see how Rick Carlisle approaches the game if Barnes is unable to play. JJ Barea figures to see more minutes in the backcourt, while Barnes’ absence may lead to additional opportunities for the likes of Dwight Powell, Yogi Ferrell, Dirk Nowitzki and Smith.
We may get an update on Barnes when the Mavs hold shootaround later in the day. If his status is still uncertain at that point, this game becomes a tougher one to peg from a betting perspective. If Barnes sits, the Clippers make for an intriguing play against the spread. If he plays, the 7-point spread looks too high. With Barnes in the lineup, Dallas looks like an excellent value try at +7 against the spread here. I wouldn’t pick them to win outright, but they can at least keep it close.
$100 Stake Wins......