Wounded Warriors Take On Philadelphia 76ers

By: Adam Markowitz | Thursday, March 1, 2012

We are only a few days into the second half of the NBA betting campaign, but already, we are seeing injuries mount, and some of the top players in the league are involved.

The Golden State Warriors are likely going to be without Stephen Curry for a third straight game on Friday when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Curry has been testing his right foot before every game, though he has yet to step on the court in the second half of the season.

In games in which Curry hasn't played this year, the Golden State offense has been terrible. This team has averaged just 96.0 PPG without Curry, a far cry from the 99.2 PPG average with him on the court.

The Warriors have their work cut out for them on Friday in the City of Brotherly Love, especially knowing that the 76ers have the top ranked defense in the league at 87.1 PPGA. Philly has dropped six out of seven SU and is just 1-6 ATS in that stretch, so it is definitely a team that can be had. In the first meeting of these two teams this year though, Golden State was clocked 107-79 at Oracle Arena.

Friday's tip on ESPN is at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Curry isn't the only star battling an injury right now. The Dallas Mavericks might have to go into their showdown with the New Orleans Hornets without Dirk Nowitzki who is averaging 19.1 PPG.  Nowitzki left Dallas' loss to the Memphis Grizzlies with a back problem on Wednesday night. His status is unknown for this 8:00 (ET) tip in the Crescent City.

The Los Angeles Lakers dodged a bit of a bullet when Kobe Bryant was able to start the second half of the season in the lineup in spite of the fact that he suffered a mild concussion and broke his nose in the All-Star Game over the weekend. Bryant is wearing a mask and certainly isn't the most attractive player in the league at the moment, but if he plays on Friday as well as he did on Wednesday when he put up 31 points, eight assists and seven boards in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, no one is going to care what he looks like.

Bryant and his Lakers are now a rock-solid 12-5 ATS at home this year, and they have a chance to improve upon that when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Staples Center for a 10:30 p.m. (ET) tip.

The other boys from Tinseltown, the Los Angeles Clippers, are going to be in action in an ESPN broadcast on Friday night at 10:30 (ET) at the Phoenix Suns.

The Clippers started off their second half of the season in terrible form, getting crushed by the Timberwolves at home, 109-97. Now, they have to go on the road for their next six games, and they are going to have to win some of these in order to fend off the Lakers at the top of the Pacific Division.

The Clips have their own problems in this game. Phoenix, which finished out the first half of the season by winning two of its last three games both SU and ATS at home, has dominated this series. The Suns are 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS in their last eight against the Clippers at home, and in those games, they are averaging a whopping 116.1 PPG.

Friday night starts off with the Memphis Grizzlies visiting the Toronto Raptors at 7:00 (ET) and continues with a three-pack of games that tip at 7:30 (ET). The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to look for a statement win at "The Q" against the Chicago Bulls, while the Boston Celtics try to put away the New Jersey Nets. The Atlanta Hawks, who started their second half of the season with a bad loss to Golden State, will try to make amends when the Milwaukee Bucks come to Phillips Arena.

The Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets get it on in a battle of potential playoff teams in the Western Conference at 8:00 (ET), and the Charlotte Bobcats and their woeful 4-29 record hit the road to take on the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30 (ET).

The Miami Heat open their second half of the season on the road at the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, and just one night later, they have to take on the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena in a Friday night fight at 9:00 (ET).

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