Last year's Golden State Warriors had one of the greatest statistical regular seasons in NBA history. And this year's club might be better as the Warriors are 11-0 and five wins shy of breaking the record for the best start in league history. They generally have been killing people. But I don't think this team would have much of a chance against the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls club that won an NBA-record 72 games in the regular season. And former Bull Ron Harper apparently agrees with me. He tweeted recently that those Bulls would sweep these Warriors in a playoff series. Not sure if I'd go that far, but doubt it would last more than six games. I would have liked to see Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen guard Steph Curry. For what it's worth, Warriors GM Bob Myers has said it's "impossible" to break that 72-win record. I believe the Warriors are going to get to at least 16-0, however.
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Bucks at Wizards (-3.5, 201.5)
This is the first of an NBA TV doubleheader so should have live betting at the books. Monitor the status of Washington's Bradley Beal. He has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury and didn't practice Monday, so it doesn't look promising for this one. The Wiz are 1-1 without him. Milwaukee is off a 108-105 double-overtime win against Cleveland on Saturday. The Wizards won at the Bucks on Oct. 30, 118-113, rallying from a 13-point deficit. Beal had 26 points, 14 in the fourth quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 for the Bucks. Milwaukee didn't have big man John Henson then, but he's back now.
Key trends: The favorite is 5-0 against the spread in the past five meetings. The "over/under" is 7-2 in the past nine.
Early lean: Wait on Beal.
Hawks at Nets (+3.5, 198.5)
Brooklyn nearly pulled the upset of the season on Saturday, losing 107-99 in overtime at Golden State. Jarrett Jack had a season-high 28 points for the Nets. Brook Lopez missed a short jumper at the regulation buzzer. Atlanta comes in on a two-game losing streak, being held under 100 points in each. The Hawks were without point guard Jeff Teague on Sunday, and he's not playing here. Dennis Schroder will start for him. Also out is Kent Bazemore due to his own ankle problem. The Hawks beat the visiting Nets 101-87 on Nov. 4. Brooklyn had 19 turnovers, which led to 25 Atlanta points. Lopez had 27 points, but no one else did much for the Nets. Joe Johnson was just 1-for-10 from the field.
Key trends: The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 5-2 in the past seven.
Early lean: Hawks and under.
Cavaliers at Pistons (+5, 192)
Cleveland's eight-game winning streak was snapped in Milwaukee on Saturday in double overtime despite 37 points from LeBron James. He also had seven turnovers and missed a potential winning 3-pointer at the end of the first OT. James is 10 points away from passing Jerry West (25,192) for 19th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Detroit returns home from a six-game road trip having lost four straight -- the Pistons were rather embarrassed in Sunday's 97-85 loss at the sorry Lakers. Pistons center Andre Drummond had 17 points and 17 rebounds for his 10th straight double-double. The Cavs were 3-1 vs. the Pistons last year and have won four straight at Auburn Hills. In those four road wins, the Cavs have held Detroit to under 100 points in each of them.
Key trends: The Cavs are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 4-0 in the past four in Detroit.
Early lean: Cavaliers and under.
Timberwolves at Heat (-9, 194.5)
Minnesota lost a fourth straight Sunday, 114-106 against Memphis. Not coincidentally, point guard Ricky Rubio has missed all four with a strained left hamstring. He was able to practice on Monday but is still being called questionable -- the Wolves also play again Wednesday, so that could factor in whether Rubio plays Tuesday. Zach LaVine would start again if Rubio can't go. Miami has been off since a 92-91 home win over Utah last Thursday. The Heat didn't have either Dwyane Wade (family emergency) or Gerald Green (suspension) for that, but both will play Tuesday.
Key trends: The Wolves are 6-0 ATS in their past six road games. Miami is 5-1 ATS in its past six vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 8-0 in Miami's past eight.
Early lean: Wolves.
Hornets at Knicks (+1, 196)
New York ended a two-game slide with a 95-87 win over New Orleans on Sunday. Carmelo Anthony had 29 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. The Knicks got 44 points from their bench and forced 18 Pelicans turnovers. Charlotte beat Portland 106-94 on Sunday behind a season-high 33 points from Nicolas Batum. Charlotte shot better than 65 percent in first half in taking a 71-45 lead. The Hornets beat the visiting Knicks 95-93 on Nov. 11 despite being outrebounded by 19. Cody Zeller hit the winning layup with less than a second remaining. Batum led the Hornets with 24 points.
Key trends: The Hornets are 6-1 ATS in their past seven at New York. The over is 5-0 in the past five there.
Early lean: Hornets and over.
Nuggets at Pelicans (TBA)
It's really quite shocking how bad New Orleans is even accounting for all the team's injuries. The Pelicans dropped to 1-9 with Sunday's eight-point loss at the Knicks. Anthony Davis had 36 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans after missing the previous two games with a bruised right hip. Kendrick Perkins (right pectoral), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), Tyreke Evans (right knee) and Norris Cole (sprained left ankle) all sat out with injuries. Denver lost 105-81 in Phoenix on Saturday. The Nuggets had just 28 points at halftime. Forward/center Joffrey Lauvergne missed that one with a lower back strain and won't play here. Kenneth Faried missed the second half due to back spasms. He's questionable as is fellow forward Darrell Arthur (illness).
Key trends: The Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under has hit in 12 of the past 15 in New Orleans.
Early lean: New Orleans should win this regardless.
Raptors at Warriors (-9, 207)
Golden State nearly got caught looking past the lousy Nets on Saturday but was able to escape in overtime -- Andre Iguodala hit a key 3-pointer to tie late in regulation. The Warriors opened the OT with a 10-0 run. Steph Curry had 34 points. Curry's "Splash Brother" mate Klay Thompson missed the game with back tightness. He's likely to play here. Toronto lost 107-101 in Sacramento on Sunday to start a five-game road trip. Golden State swept Toronto last season and has won 10 straight in the series at home.
Key trends: The Raptors are 6-1 ATS in their past seven vs. the West. The under is 10-1 in Golden State's past 11 following an ATS loss.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
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