We picked up another win last night at thesportsgeek.com with Memphis’s easy win and cover in Portland. The Blazers look like a defeated team, resigned to another year in the lottery, especially without their best player LaMarcus Alderidge on the floor.
For tonight’s pick we take a look at another team that might be teetering on the fringe of “broken” and “defeated.” The Los Angeles Lakers drove a knife into the hearts of the Mavericks with their crushing 101-81 victory Tuesday night. It might have been Shaq’s night to be honored, but it was clearly Kobe Bryant’s night to be honored ON the floor. Kobe played what some are calling the best all-around game on his career in a 41-point triple double. The win all but eliminated the Mavs from the playoff hunt, and with Utah’s blowout home loss to Denver last night, once again has the Lakers in the driver’s seat for the 8th slot out West.
Meanwhile, how will Dallas, a decade-plus long playoff participant react to falling all but out of the picture? Will they and their shaggy beards come out focused to make one last desperate push, or has time finally run out in Big D??
Let’s take a look at an interesting physical and mental matchup tonight in Denver.
Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets -6.5
What’s the worst possible recipe for a team coming off an emotionally-deflating loss? How about a trip to the team with the best home record in the entire NBA, the Denver Nuggets (33-3). It’s hard to see Denver dropping a game at home to Dallas, particularly while the race for the #3 seed remains intense with Memphis’s win last night.
I also find it really difficult to believe Dallas plays sharp tonight. They have to be pretty mentally drained after fighting back into the playoff race only to have it crushed by Kobe two nights ago. Even without the emotional aspect of this game, six and a half points isn’t a real steep price to pay for a 36-38 team travelling to the Mile High City.
Dallas has historically played well against Denver, winning three of the last four meetings, including an impressive 112-95 win IN Denver last March. However, this is a different Nuggets team than last season, and a MUCH different and weaker Dallas team.
I like Denver to do what they always do; protect their home court and get a big win in the altitude. I don’t see Dallas having the fight to put forth the kind of effort it is going to take to win on the road tonight.
Free Pick: Denver Nuggets -6.5