My prediction for next NBA coach to be fired: Washington's Randy Wittman. And it might happen as soon as Thursday if the underachieving Wizards, who have been grumbling about their roles and the new offense, lose on Wednesday night at home to the horrid Los Angeles Lakers. Wittman was on thin ice entering last year's playoffs, but the Wizards reaching the conference semifinals saved him. Washington entered Tuesday's likely loss in Cleveland at 6-8. This was a team I thought could reach the East Finals this year. Why would Kevin Durant even think about signing there as a free agent next summer unless the culture changes? There will need to be a coach in place that gives Durant a sense of things being under control for him to consider a return home.
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Warriors at Hornets (+10, 213.5)
Golden State improved to 19-0 with a very close call in Utah on Monday night, escaping 106-103 victory -- the Jazz's Rodney Hood missed the potential winning 3-pointer; Utah was only down one, so why he chose to take a contested 3-pointer is mind-boggling. That's win No. 23 in a row as well for the Warriors dating to last regular season and nine straight regular-season road wins, one shy of the franchise record. Charlotte beat Milwaukee on Sunday 87-82 but center Al Jefferson left with a calf injury and will miss at least two weeks, so that's a pretty big break for the Warriors in their only visit to Charlotte. How impartial will local Hornets broadcaster Dell Curry be here? Of course, he's the father of Golden State's Steph Curry. The Curry family is from Charlotte, with Steph playing high school ball there and then collegiately at Davidson. Golden State won both meetings last year, with one close.
Key trends: The Hornets are 6-1 against the spread in their past seven vs. the West. The "over/under" is 5-0 in Golden State's past five on the road. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Hornets cover and over.
Lakers at Wizards (-9, 205)
Los Angeles was in Philadelphia on Tuesday, while Washington was in Cleveland. So an apparent huge advantage in that regard for the Lakers. Presumably the Wizards will lose that one and will enter here on a five-game skid. On Monday, the team waived Martell Webster, who is out for the season, and signed Ryan Hollins for frontcourt depth. The Wizards are dealing with injuries up front to Nene, Drew Gooden and Alan Anderson, who has yet to play this season off ankle surgery. Washington won both meetings with the Lakers last season and has won five in a row in the series overall.
Key trends: Washington is 3-10 ATS in its past 13 games in the second of a back-to-back. The under is 9-3 in the Wizards' past 12 in the second of a back-to-back.
Early lean: Lakers and under.
Suns at Pistons (-4, 203)
Phoenix was in Brooklyn on Tuesday and likely without center Tyson Chandler. Detroit beat visiting Houston 116-105 on Monday. Andre Drummond had 24 points and 13 rebounds and was 4-for-18 from the free-throw line. The Rockets kept hacking him on purpose. Seriously, I could make at least 5-for-18 from the free-throw line with my eyes closed. The Pistons, who acquired Marcus Morris (let's see if Suns twin brother Markieff gets any time guarding his brother) and Reggie Bullock from Phoenix for a 2020 second-round pick this offseason, beat the Suns 100-92 on Nov. 6. Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 23 points and seven assists, while Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight each scored 22 points for the Suns. Knight is a former Piston.
Key trends: The Suns are 7-2 ATS in their past nine playing on zero days of rest. Phoenix is 0-7 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 4-1 in the past five in Detroit.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
76ers at Knicks (TBA)
Philly hosted the Lakers on Tuesday and wasn't sure if it would have Nerlens Noel. If the Sixers didn't win there, this would be potential loss No. 20 to start this season and No. 30 in a row overall. Pathetic. New York lost a season-high fourth straight Sunday, 116-111 in overtime to Houston. Carmelo Anthony sat it out with an illness but should be fine to play here (why the TBA). New York won three of four against the Sixers last year and hasn't lost a season series to them in seven years. The Knicks have won three straight at home in the series.
Key trends: The 76ers are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 4-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Make sure Melo is good to go.
Raptors at Hawks ( -2.5, 198)
Atlanta beat visiting Oklahoma City 106-100 on Monday. Jeff Teague outplayed Russell Westbrook down the stretch. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Toronto had a four-game winning streak end in a 107-102 home defeat to Phoenix on Sunday. DeMar DeRozan tied a Raptors season high with 29 points, the fourth straight game he has scored at least 20. Atlanta had the East's best record last season but was 1-3 against Toronto. DeRozan averaged a team-best 22.0 points for the Raptors in the series. DeMarre Carroll returns to Atlanta for the first time since signing as a free-agent with Toronto in the summer.
Key trends: Toronto is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 6-0 in Atlanta's past six on Wednesday.
Early lean: Hawks and over.
Nuggets at Bulls (-9, 199)
Denver lost a seventh straight on Monday, 92-74 in Milwaukee. The Nuggets had only 30 second-half points. During the seven-game losing streak, Denver is averaging 51 points in the first half and 39 in the second half. Guard Gary Harris, who started the first 17 games, missed his second consecutive game after suffering a concussion, and he's questionable here. Chicago got one of its best wins of the season Monday, 92-89 over the visiting Spurs. Chicago played without backup guards Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks, and both are questionable. The team also learned that forward Mike Dunleavy Jr., who has yet to play this season, had a setback in his recovery from offseason back surgery. Don't expect to see him for months, if at all. The teams split last season, each winning at home. Chicago has won two straight at home vs. Denver.
Key trends: The Bulls are 1-7 ATS in their past eight after a win. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 6-1 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Huge letdown game for Bulls. Take points, go over.
Pelicans at Rockets (-3.5, 212)
This is the first of an NBA TV doubleheader and should have live betting at sportsbooks. New Orleans hosted Memphis on Tuesday. Houston lost by 11 in Detroit on Sunday in the second of a back-to-back. The Rockets were down as many as 28 but did cut it to four early in the fourth. They wouldn't get any closer. New Orleans and Houston split four meetings last year. James Harden averaged only 21.8 points. The Rockets have won seven of the past eight meetings at Toyota Center.
Key trends: The underdog has covered seven of the past 10 meetings. The over is 8-2 in Houston's past 10 at home vs. teams with a losing road record.
Early lean: Rockets and over.
Bucks at Spurs (-12.5, 191.5)
San Antonio had a five-game winning streak snapped in a three-point loss at Chicago on Monday. Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker each missed 3-point attempts in the final seconds. The Spurs had just one field goal in the final four minutes. Milwaukee ended a three-game skid with a rout of visiting Denver on Monday. Bucks guard Greivis Vazquez missed his second straight game with right ankle soreness and is questionable. San Antonio swept Milwaukee last season and has won six straight overall in the series and five in a row at home.
Key trends: The Bucks are 2-7 ATS in their past nine vs. teams with a winning record. The Spurs are 10-1 ATS in their past 11 after a loss. The over is 5-2 in the previous seven meetings.
Early lean: Spurs and under.
Pacers at Clippers (TBA)
Second game on NBA TV. Indiana brings a five-game winning streak into this one and didn't have to leave Los Angeles after beating the Lakers 107-103 on Sunday. Paul George continued his MVP-caliber season with 39 points, including Indiana's final 11. Indiana wore its Hickory High alternate uniforms made famous in "Hoosiers" for the Hollywood road game. Those are awesome. The Clippers won a third straight on Monday, 102-87 over Portland, but probably have lost star point guard Chris Paul for a while. He left in the third quarter with a strained rib muscle. If it's an oblique strain that likely will take at least a few weeks to heal. The Clippers swept the season series last year for the first time since 2004-05.
Key trends: The road team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 6-1 in the Clippers' past seven overall.
Early lean: Wait on Paul.
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