I freaking love Boogie Cousins. Not in the “favorite player” kind of way, and not even in a “I love to watch him play basketball” way, but more in a “damn, this is really funny/entertaining way and I’ll get bailed out for something to write about at least twice a month” kind of way. The gift of Boogie gave once again last night as the newly-minted Pelican received his 18th technical foul and earned an upcoming suspension just THIRTY TWO seconds into the game. That’s just awesome, and I wish Vegas has odds on “Boogie Cousins Technical? Yes +250” in each game (by the way, just doing some quick math, that’d be a pretty reasonable price…)
We had our four game NBA winning streak snapped Saturday (no pick yesterday) but have still reeled off seven of our last nine picks and are looking for another big week to start today. There are seven games on the schedule tonight including a TNT game between Miami and Dallas that looked two months ago like it might be for #1 Draft Pick positioning, but now, stunningly, has some Playoff implications…
Today’s NBA Pick:
Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics -4
The Hawks have had a strange season, fluctuating between “Eastern Conference Finals Contender” and “Lottery Team” with odd frequency. Their latest iteration looks more the latter. They have lost three straight including a 19-point loss in Orlando and an 18-point home loss to the Miami Heat. Right now, this team is just not any good, and, whether it is fair or not, seems to have the normal effort questions that surround Dwight Howard teams. There is no way you should lose by 27 combined points in back to back games to the Florida teams.
Meanwhile, Boston has remained solid and steady and seems to be a REAL Eastern Conference Finals contender. They lost a pair of tough road games at Chicago (questionable officiating) and at Toronto, but rebounded with a nice win in Detroit and has won five of seven overall and 13 of 16.
They have won their last four home games and I see no reason to think they won’t prevail tonight as well against the slumping Hawks. Boston hasn’t been great as a home favorite this season at just 10-15 ATS, but the recent ambivalence from the Hawks makes me willing to overlook that piece of data and back the home Celtics tonight at a very fair price.
Today’s Pick: Boston Celtics -4