NBA point spreads
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Examining NBA's fast -- and slow -- starts
As we inch closer to another Power Rankings Monday, your faithful committee (of one) is already starting its computing.
And it sure helps when your Sunday brunch includes a surprise heads-up from a research-minded pal like ESPN.com's Adam Reisinger, who has helpfully passed along a handy list that puts some of the good (and bad) starts we've seen into some historical perspective.
Entering Sunday's play:
Golden State Warriors: 5-0 start is the Warriors' best since they went 5-0 in 1994-95. They finished 26-56 that season.
Memphis Grizzlies: 6-1 start is the Grizzlies' best in team history.
Houston Rockets: 6-1 is the Rockets' best start since a 6-1 launch in 2007-08, when they went 55-27 and reeled off an unforgettable 22 straight wins in one stretch.
Toronto Raptors: 5-1 start is the best in franchise history.
Sacramento Kings: 5-1 start is the Kings' best since they opened up at 9-1 in 1999-2000, when they ultimately faded to 44-38.
Washington Wizards: 5-2 start is the Wizards' best since they went 5-1 in 2005-06, when they finished 42-40.
Chicago Bulls: 5-2 start is the Bulls' best since a 7-1 start in 2011-12. They finished 50-16 in that lockout-shortened season.
Denver Nuggets: It's actually the Nuggets' second straight 1-4 start.
Oklahoma City Thunder: 1-5 is the Thunder's worst start since they went 1-14 in 2008-09 in the club's first season in OKC.
New York Knicks: 2-5 is the Knicks' worst start since a 1-9 start in 2009-10 that set the tone for a 29-53 season.
Indiana Pacers: 1-6 is the Pacers' worst start since they went 1-6 in 1993-94, when they rallied to post a 47-35 mark.
Los Angeles Lakers: 0-5 is the Lakers' worst start in Los Angeles and their worst since they went 0-7 in 1957-58 in Minneapolis.
Philadelphia 76ers: 0-6 is the Sixers' worst start since a 0-15 start in 1972-73 ... which, of course, was Philly's 9-73 season.
MIAMI HEAT (1-1) at BROOKLYN NETS (0-1)
The Nets are looking to get their first win of the season Friday night when they host a Heat team trying to avoid falling under .500 early in the season.
Miami had an impressive win to beat Chicago in the season opener, but they followed it up with an embarrassing loss to the rebuilding 76ers. Brooklyn, however, has played just once this season, losing their opener in Cleveland. The Heat have dominated this matchup recently as they are 6-0 SU (5-1 ATS) against the Nets over the past two seasons, winning the three meetings last year by wide margins of 30, 13 and 20 points. The most recent game between these teams was a 105-85 victory for Miami in Brooklyn on Jan. 30, 2013. The Heat are 31-16 ATS (66percent) after two or more consecutive Overs in the past three season, but they are just 89-126 ATS (41percent) in November games since 1996. However, the Nets are 8-19 ATS (30percent) as a home underdog over the past three years. SG Dwyane Wade will be in the lineup for Miami after sitting out the loss to Philadelphia in an effort to keep the superstar fresh.
The Heat won a convincing opening night game against the Bulls, only to follow it up with a loss to the 9.5-point underdog Sixers, who are expected to be one of the NBA's worst teams this season. Playing without SG Dwyane Wade, Miami fell 114-110 despite 25 points and 13 assists from SF LeBron James. The Heat star has dominated the Nets throughout his career with 27.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 7.6 APG over 33 meetings. PF Chris Bosh added 22 points (8-of-13 FG, 2-of-3 threes) and 10 rebounds. Through two games, Bosh has looked very good for Miami and is averaging 19.0 PPG (58.3percent FG), 8.0 RPG and 1.5 BPG. Off the bench, SG Ray Allen added 19 points on 7-of-13 FG (4-of-9 threes) with six rebounds. PG Mario Chalmers also played a strong game for the Heat on Wednesday with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Miami was missing Wade in the game as it struggled to guard the Sixers on the perimeter, allowing rookie Michael Carter-Williams to score 22 points with 12 assists and nine steals in his NBA debut. Miami may need to reconsider its plan to rest Wade in the second half of back-to-backs if it cant consistently win without him.
Brooklyn started off its season with a 98-94 road loss to the Cavaliers. The Nets played a decent game all around, except they were dominated in the third quarter being outscored by eight in the period. SF Paul Pierce looked good in his team debut, scoring 17 points on 5-of-8 FG and 3-of-4 threes. PF Kevin Garnett had just eight points, but did grab 10 rebounds with two steals and a blocked shot. C Brook Lopez scored 21 points on 9-of-18 FG to go along with five rebounds and four blocks. PG Deron Williams, playing in limited action because of an ankle injury, logged just 22 minutes and had only seven points on 2-of-6 FG. He did, however, add nine assists for his team, and he has also played well against Miami in his career with 16.5 PPG (48percent FG) and 8.2 APG over 18 meetings. New SG Jason Terry provided a nice scoring punch off the bench with 14 points on 5-of-10 FG and 4-of-9 threes. The Nets are going to need more out of starting SG Joe Johnson, who had just 13 points on 3-of-10 FG and 0-of-3 threes. Brooklyn will be better off as Deron Williams gets healthier and is able to give them more minutes, which is what he's expected to do on Friday.
2015 Kentucky Derby Odds
Kentucky Derby week is one of the most thrilling times of the year. This race is known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate time length.
Check 2015 KY Derby Schedule May 1 and 24 at Sportsbook.com
Odds to Win 2015 Kentucky Derby
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