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Jazz vs. Timberwolves Pick NBA – March 30th

We notched another NBA winner last night with the Heat and their band of injured players staving off the Pistons for a 109-102 victory.   It might be hard for the Heat to make the playoffs – at one point last night they played a 2-3 zone and had to use Mario Chalmers on the bottom, as Haslem, Whiteside, Birdman, Deng, and of course Bosh and McRoberts, were all unavailable. The season has been an undeniable disappointment, but if they DO skid into the playoffs it is an unreal testament to the heart of Dwyane Wade and the strategy of Coach Spo.

The win was our fifth in our last six NBA plays for a nice 8-3 ATS run to keep the post All-Star success blazing. Let’s see if we can stack on another good week as we gear up for the playoffs. And again, though I have written it often, keep an eye on who is playing and who is sitting as more and more teams settle into their respective playoff positions and begin playing the rest game to prepare for a long (hopefully) second season.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Utah Jazz -4 at Minnesota Timberwolves

The one positive about wagering in April (technically March 30) on teams that are heading to the Lottery is you know they will usually try to put their best players on the floor (usually, unless there is extreme tanking going on). These two teams have some young talent and have been taking advantage of the opportunity to let it come together and gel. The Jazz made a nice run at respectability, but have dropped four of their last five. The Timberwolves have a young prize in Andrew Wiggins, but it has yet to translate to wins. They are just 2-8 in their last ten games and have lost three in a row at home.

A big reason Minnesota is struggling is that they are running out of bodies. They aren’t tanking. They are just hurt. Kevin Garnett, Rubio, Martin, Pekovic, Shabazz Muhammad and Gary Neal all missed the last game and Gorgui Deng left in the first ten minutes with a bruised face. That MASH unit would be a decent rotation with Wiggins added to the mix. Having JUST Wiggins trying to win with Zach Levine and Adrian Payne is asking a bit much, even in the NCAA Tournament, let alone the NBA.

Utah is a quietly competent team that has some interesting potential to make some moves in the next few years as a few of their Western competitors age out of perennial postseason position. They seem to be taking these opportunities to continue to build down the stretch seriously. They erased a 16-point deficit at halftime to come back and beat the Thunder and showed some real heart.

I’ll take the heart and health of the Jazz tonight against a depleted Timberwolves squad.

Free Pick: Utah Jazz -4