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In this Nov. 3, 2018, file photo, Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony, left, drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls forward Justin Holiday during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago. Anthony is returning to the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers.
In this Nov. 3, 2018, file photo, Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony, left, drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls forward Justin Holiday during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago. Anthony is returning to the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers. |Nam Y. Huh | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Tuesday: Greg Frank picks Suns vs Kings and Trail Blazers vs Pelicans where Carmelo Anthony makes his return

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

My Season stats: 0-2 Monday, 28-20-1 overall.

Trail Blazers (-1) @ Pelicans (230)

Pick: Under 230

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but there might already be cause for concern surrounding the Portland Trail Blazers. Having started slowly, Portland clearly felt a need to do something, bringing in Carmelo Anthony at the end of last week. Anthony debuts for the Trail Blazers tonight, but that’s not really a factor in our handicap. What we are factoring in is that the Trail Blazers just allowed 132 points in Houston on Monday in a blowout loss. We’d expect better energy on the defensive end of the floor the next game from any team that just allowed that many points in regulation. Considering it’s a Trail Blazers team that can ill afford to have the losses continue to pile up, we’re expecting Portland to be much more engaged on Tuesday. Then add in that this is the second leg of a back-to-back for the Blazers, and if they’re going to win, it’s probably not going to be the prettiest 48 minutes. I’m sure they’ll take any win they can get right now, and while I’m not running to the window to back Portland tonight, I do think it will begin to give better efforts on defense knowing the season has not started well. Therefore, under 230 on Tuesday in New Orleans makes sense.

Suns (+2.5) @ Kings (217)

Pick: Under 217

I’d like to start this one by thanking the Kings for winning outright on Sunday as a short home underdog against Boston and helping us cash a ticket. Sacramento won 100-99 and that score we think is indicative of the way the Kings need to play sans De’Aaron Fox. The floor general out of Kentucky remains sidelined with an ankle injury for the Kings. All three games Fox has missed have landed under the closing total. The average total points scored in all three games Fox has missed for the Kings so far is exactly 200. With tonight’s total sitting at 217, that would seem to be an indicator that the oddsmakers have not fully adjusted for Fox’s absence. Phoenix is also traveling, albeit not very far, after playing Boston at home last night. We like the Kings to continue to look to grind games out while Fox remains on the sideline. Whether or not they’re on the winning end of tonight’s is a different story, but the pace should be slow enough for the game to stay under 217 total points.

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