Hornets vs. Pistons Pick – February 23rd

Ball NIGHT!!

The Association is back in full effect after the week-long All Star hiatus, and before we just dive in with some picks, there have been some rather massive developments since we adjourned.  Let’s hit some of the highlights worth noting as we re-shape our perception on a few teams in the league.

The BIGGEST move, obviously, is the Boogie-to-NOLA deal.  How will the Pelicans survive without Buddy Hield?  Just kidding.  The Pelicans are the obvious winner, but does it automatically make them viable?  Let’s wait and see.  They have had backcourt issues for all of A.D’s career, so adding a supremely talented big is obviously a positive, but perhaps not a miracle cure.  Let’s watch this thing unfold before throwing some money on it, unless a GREAT line leaps off the paper.

Boogie wasn’t the only one shuffling off to a new location.  The Lakers send Lou Williams to Houston, giving the Rockets some much-needed bench offense, Serge Ibaka is in Toronto, and the Washington Wizards picked up Bogan Bogdanavich to help bolster the rotation with some shooting.  None of these three are major moves that should affect lines, but could help their new team’s depth as they gear up for hopeful playoff runs.

The biggest NON-TRADE news is that Chris Paul might return TONIGHT against the Warriors.  Remember, the first month of the season, people actually were asking “are the Clippers better than Golden State.”  Those weren’t particularly SMART people, but LAC was at least playing well enough to introduce the topic.  It will be interesting to see if they can get their early season mojo back over the last month-plus of the season and be a viable Western Conference contender…

We had a nice All-Star Break, hitting the ASG winner as well as Eric Gordon at +900 on the Three-Point Challenge, but it is time to get to real work tonight.

Today’s NBA Pick:

Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons –4

Perhaps no seemingly-decent team in the NBA has collapsed worse than that Charlotte Hornets over the past month.  The Hornets have dropped eleven of twelve straight up and fallen well outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture.  They are just 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten games and 1-5 ATS in the last six road games just 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall.  Tonight they are on  the road and will likely be without Cody Zeller as well.

Meanwhile, Detroit, despite some swirling trade rumors, is expected to field a full basketball team, and the team as currently constructed has been playing decent basketball.  They are 7-3 ATS in their last ten games and 6-4 SU.  They’ve won their last five games as a favorite and are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.

Detroit has a lot of significant trend and statistical advantages tonight.  The ONLY caveat – and PAY ATTENTION – is if trade rumors get far more intense as the day goes by.  If, and it is still a little bit of a long shot – there seems to be a deal for Caldwell-Pope or Drummond, they could wind up scratched from the lineup, which dramatically changes the picture for tonight and the line (and removes the value).

So – this is my favorite play on the board by a lot, but it has some potential for late-breaking news impact.  I’d recommend hanging tight until a little closer to game time if you decide you like the play.

Today’s Pick:  Detroit Pistons -4