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76ers Are Only Winless Squad Taking Court on Friday Evening

Posted by Craig Parsons on 11/13/2014 8:59:40 PM

A total of 20 NBA team's will be taking the court on Friday evening, but the Philadelphia 76ers are the only team that is still looking for their first victory of the 2014 season. They're matching-up with the 7-1 Houston Rockets, and are playing in just one of the three games that is previewed below.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Houston Rockets

Friday November 14, 2014 – 8 PM ET

Odds: Rockets -13

The Rockets are heavy favorites over the 76ers even though they'll be without power forward Terrance Jones, and also going up against a Sixers squad that is getting back Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. The Sixers desperately need Noel's presence inside as they allow an average of 106 points per game, and are blocking only 4.5 shots per game compared to 6.3 when he's on the court. The Rockets have the clear advantage on the offensive side of the ball however as James Harden is averaging 25 points per game, and Dwight Howard is right behind him with averages of 20 points and 11 rebounds per contest. The Rockets were able to pull away from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half of their game on Wednesday night, but with Carter-Williams making his season debut the Sixers should be able to compete with the Rockets and finish within the 13-point spread.

Pick: 76ers

Minnesota Timberwolves @ New Orleans Pelicans

Friday November 14, 2014 – 8 PM ET

Odds: Timberwolves -2

The Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans are two closely related squads that will be squaring-off late Friday night. The Timberwolves will be without point guard and floor general Ricky Rubio for another 8-10 weeks because of a severe ankle sprain, which means rookie Zach LaVine will get the start at the point alongside Kevin Martin, Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, and Nikola Pekovic. While the starting five is hardly anything to be worried about, the Minnesota bench contains shooters like Corey Brewer and Shabazz Muhammad, as well as defensive juggernaut Gorgui Dieng. The Timberwolves have the deeper bench in this contest, but the Pelicans have a strong starting five that will feature Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans. Both squads rebound the ball well but are merely average in all other facets of the game, however, the Pelicans hold a slight advantage with the dominant Davis down low and the home court crowd on their side.

Pick: Pelicans

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics

Friday November 14, 2014 – 7:30 PM ET

Odds: Cavaliers -4

The Cleveland Cavaliers have yet to show their dominance on the court as the team that features LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving has started the 2014 season with a record of 3-3. The Boston Celtics haven't done much to show they can contend with one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but this contest should remain close as Rajon Rondo is trusting his teammates more which has allowed Jeff Green to lead the team in scoring with 19 points per contest. Jared Sullinger is another player to keep an eye on as he'll match-up with Love, a player his game is starting to resemble. The Celtics will have a slight home court advantage on Friday night, but the Cavaliers are one of the most talented teams in the league and could easily win this game by double-digits.

Pick: Cavaliers



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