Mavericks vs. Heat Pick NBA – Jan 30th

NBA All-Stars have been announced, and aside from perhaps the inclusion of Tim Duncan over the far less popular and far more productive (albeit on a perennial loser) DeMarcus Cousins, I have no real gripes in the West. As much as Klay Thompson’s quarter was stunning, I think I lean Damian Lillard over Klay, but I have no objection with rewarding the team with the league’s best record with a second All Star. Plus, I have a feeling Video Game Dame slides into Kobe’s vacated spot and all is well with the world. Now the only drama will be who replaces him in the starting lineup – Harden or Klay? The delicious part? Steve Kerr gets to make the call. And remember the video of Harden saying the Warriors weren’t that good?? I hope, hope, hope he takes his own guy Klay and screws Harden even though he is no worse than 2nd on any responsible MVP ballot…. That would be so entertaining.

In the East, like most of you, I wanted to see Korver rewarded for his unprecendentedly amazing shooting season. And like Damian Lillard, he will likely wind up on the roster replacing a decade-long All Star with an injury (Dwyane Wade).

All is well in the world. Unless you are the Chicago Bulls. Are you kidding me losing in LA after a win in Golden State? This team is annoying me like the old Heat used to; good enough to win every night, disinterested enough at times to lose any night. Truly putting the “gamble” in gambling.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Just for the record, the Hawks have failed to cover two straight and I am officially putting the streak on severe watch tonight hosting a thoroughly pissed-off Damian Lillard and the Blazers.   Jus’ saying. Ditto for my other unofficial lean, Chicago – I’m fading them in Phoenix after an OT loss last night, but see above for my official wagering stance on the Bulls for a little while.

SO, that leaves my official play as:

Dallas Mavericks -9 at Miami Heat

No Dwyane Wade tonight, or anytime for the foreseeable future, but getting nine points at home against a team on a four game losing streak? A team that still has Chris Bosh and the emerging Hassan Whiteside? I know the Heat are just 20-25, but that feels like a ton to lay on the road.

Dallas is just 11-9 since the Rondo deal that was supposed to make them Western Conference frontrunners. Instead, their high-octane offense has averaged just under 100 points a game. The Heat will also be missing Deng tonight, but I think they have enough defenders on the court to keep the game reasonable at home.

Dallas just isn’t quite on track right now – something just seems amiss. It would be a bit premature to blame the issues on Rondo, but whatever the reason, the ball just doesn’t seem to be zipping around with the same efficiency and certainly isn’t finding the bottom of the net with same regularity.

I’ll take the Mavs to end their skid tonight but gladly take the Heat with nearly double digit points supporting Bosh and the home folks.

Free Pick: Miami Heat +9

Chris Scheeren / Author