We split our pair of NBA picks last night, and while if you just watch the highlights you’d think it’s attributable to the Cavaliers grat play spearheaded by LeBron James… but you’d only be partially correct. It certainly didn’t help matters that Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah missed much of the second half with injuries. It doesn’t appear either are serious, but if you are Bulls fan this is beginning to feel like a nightmarish record stuck on skip. Here’s to hoping they both are FINE, otherwise the East becomes a real snoozer – and it’ll be all because of injuries. Seriously, if Toronto and Washington are battling for the two seed we can just fast forward to the NBA Finals, neither are beating Lebron and the Cavs in a seven game series.
Meanwhile, there are a ton of interesting games on a packed NBA slate tonight. The new-look Mavs travel to the Big Easy to tackle Anthony Davis (can’t wait to see him matched up with Tyson Chandler). The Nuggets head to Oklahoma City trying to keep the Thunder winless on the year and the Lakers continue their quest for 0-82 as staggering 16.5 point underdogs at the Warriors tonight.
Let’s pluck a winner of the big board and wrap up a winning first week of the season.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Miami Heat -9 at Philadelphia 76’ers
I like the Heat this year. All the attention will focus on the departure of LeBron, but the attention should be on how good Chris Bosh still is, and what a spark the additions of Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts have brought. They hit the road tonight to visit a 76’ers team who is playing the backend of an early season back-to-back. Oh, and the 76’ers are historically bad. They are in the third (and hopefully final) year of their never-ending tankapalooza and aside from the injured list (Embiid, Carter-Williams) the roster is incredibly anonymous. Nerlens Noel looked good last night, but aside from him their leading producers were named: KJ MCDaniels, Tony Wroten and Hollis Thomas. You are forgiven if you needed to google any of them…
Phily is at home, but they could very well be sluggish tonight and are playing against a proud veteran team that appears to have a nice edge to them this season. Gone are the heavy weights of expectation, instead replaced with a general sense of disinterest. I like Dwyane Wade, Bosh, Deng and company to quickly change that narrative. I still think they are no worse than fifth in the East and could very well challenge for a Top Four spot in the playoffs. In order to do that, you have to handle your business professionally against the lower tier dregs of the East. I like them to do just that tonight and roll in the second half en route to a big win.