We fought against some short-term trends last night in backing the Pacers, opting instead for the wider season view as well as accounting for the very real impact the trade deadline rumors seems to have on the Indiana Pacers performance. The reward was a third straight win and sixth in seven NBA Picks (and no, I am not still crowing about Eric Gordon +900 in the Shootout…wait…ooops…).
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Heat emerged from their scorching streak into the All-Star Break still ablaze, destroying the Hawks in Atlanta by 18 points. They are now just six games under .500 and a legitimate threat to make the playoffs in the East. If they could get to the seventh seed, are they actually a player in this thing??? Wild, right?
And the Clippers welcomed back Chris Paul at Staples last night… with a loss to the Spurs. Sure, it was just CP3’s first game in months, but it is a nice reminder that the West is probably a two-team race, even with a healthy CP3 and the nice moves the Rockets made (specifically adding Lou Williams to bolster the offensive production from their second unit).
Let’s take our hot streak into the weekend and see if we can add a little more magic.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Charlotte Hornets -3 at Sacramento Kings (NOTE – EARLY GAME – 5pm EST START!)
The Buddy Hield Era is officially under way!
Ok, fake enthusiasm aside, the opening performance for the Boogie-less Kings was a pretty positive one. The ball moved, the enthusiasm was legit and sincere, and for one night at least, Willie Cauley-Stein looked up for the challenge of replacing the All-NBA/Olympian big man. Will it last? I’m not sure, but a positive step is hosting the free-falling dreadful Hornets.
Charlotte enters tonight at 8-20 SU on the road, losers of their last five road games and a lousy 2-11-1 ATS in their last fourteen games. Here’s a stunning stat – they are 1-18 straight up this season as underdogs. ONE AND EIGHTEEN! That is crazy. Technically, they are the favorite tonight, but it is hard to picture how
They’ve lost nine of their last ten, and have lost by five or more in seven of their last eight games.
So, not to be overdramatic here, but I am fading the Hornets.
Sacramento’s stats might not be as relevant given the seismic move to finally trade Boogie, but for what it is worth, they are 5-1 ATS in their last six games and 5-1 SU in their last six games at home.
I’ll take the Kings and will swallow the five, and given Charlotte’s propensity to lose by six or seven points, I’d have been in on this line even in the opposite direction.
Today’s Pick: Sacramento Kings +3