With the famed old-timers on the Timberwolves and the Lakers possibly idled Tuesday in Los Angeles (see injuries below), the focus is on youth with these fast-fading teams.
For Minnesota, Karl Anthony-Towns has launched a campaign for Rookie of the Year. He has piled up 25 double-doubles, including four straight.
Except for second-year man Zach LaVine, who has found a hot hand, his more experienced teammates have not followed suit. Those four games ended in defeat, sinking the T-Wolves to 14-35.
The Lakers are looking up at them from the bottom of the Western standings. At 9-41, they need a win to avoid being saddled with the longest losing streak in the franchise's glorious history. It stands at 10 games.
As Kobe Bryant drifts in and out of the lineup on a regular basis, L.A. has turned to kids' play. D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, who are a combined 40 years old, have been getting plenty of minutes for coach Byron Scott, who likely will not meet the same fate as Hornacek.
The T-Wolves came to the Staples Center for the season opener as a slight underdog and triumphed by a point.
Times sure have changed. For the follow-up visit, they are -4.5, but that has not scared off SportsLine. It makes Minnesota an "A" pick, the only solid recommendation on a limited schedule, with a 104-94 win in the forecast.
Check out all the latest picks and grades here.
Last night on SportsLine: The computer's "A" pick did not come through as the Bucks (+1.5) stumbled by seven to the Kings.
The outcome left the Model's season-long success rate right at 55 percent (121-99).
Trends to note: The Over looks promising for the Celtics and Knicks, who face off Tuesday. Boston is 6-2 in its last eight road games and New York is 11-4 in its last 15 at home. However, the Under has dominated in the series, at 13-6 in the 19 most recent meetings. ... The Rockets enjoy their rest, especially while playing on offense. They are 13-3 ATS after two days off and 5-0 on the Over in such situations. The Heat try to slow it -- and them -- down Tuesday. ... From an ATS perspective, the Bucks might like seeing Portland during their current travels. Though Milwaukee is 1-4 ATS in its last five games, the team has covered four straight in the Pacific Northwest.
Injuries to watch: If the Lakers are playing, it's a safe bet that Bryant will show up on the injury report with one ailment or another. L.A. considers him questionable Tuesday against the Timberwolves. Teammate Larry Nance Jr. (knee) has been shut down through the All-Star break... Minnesota has its own injury issues. Three players, one at each position, are doubtful -- center Nikola Pekovic (foot), guard Kevin Martin (wrist) and Bryant's generational brother, Garnett (knee).
Get all the updated SportsLine and analyst selections on our NBA picks page.
Editor's note: SportsLine's grades can change frequently based on line moves, injuries, lineup changes and updated computer simulations. 'A' picks early in the day may not necessarily go off as 'A' picks come tipoff. Check SportsLine frequently for the latest grades.