NBA Picks and Predictions for April 12th

The regular season just can’t end soon enough… unless of course, you are a member of Boston’s Big 4, in which case, the season has already ended. Last night Boston’s back-ups nearly beat Washington’s starters on their home floor, before folding late and allowing overtime – eventually losing 85-84 to the Wizards. The Big 4 logged a Big Zero in the “minutes played” column.

My favorite part of that game was John Wall flinging the ball defiant and truimphant at the final horn. Yeah, take that rotting-corpse of Jermaine O’Neal! In your face Delonte West! It had to make you smile a little bit.

Apparently Doc Rivers is also smiling at the notion of having to beat both the Heat and Bulls without homecourt advantage, as they perplexingly made no effort this week to even fight for the second seed. I’m sure Doc knows his team better than I do, but should a Game 7 arise in South Beach, I think he may end up regretting this strategy…

Computer based betting site has 4 plays going tonight… click here to get them 8)


Chicago Bulls -7.5 @ New York Knicks

The Knicks are on fire and suddenly looking like a team that could possibly give Boston fits in the first round. In fact, several NBA analyists have insinuiated they could get all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals (to which I’d say, if they can beat Miami and Boston, why not Chicago too? Heck, they can win it all!) The Bulls also have been incredibly sharp, beating down all comers and storming to 18 wins in their last 20 games.

The interesting thing about tonight is that neither team needs to win. Both have secured their Playoff positioning and will rely heavily on their benches. I think that bodes well for New York, who is more incluned to log some heavy minutes with their starters playing together as they continue to build some cohesion and unity heading into the second season.

Plus, anytime things are a little nebulous in terms of WHO is going to play, I like the home team getting points. The stats all heavily favor the Bulls, but tonight – the momentum plus the obvious need for the Bulls to coast the last two games with the #1 seed already in tow, drive me to the Knicks side.

FREE PICK: New York Knicks +7.5

Computer based betting site has 4 plays going tonight… click here to get them 8)

Memphis Grizzlies @ Portland Trailblazers -5

The Blazers can lock up the sixth seed tonight with a win – but not that there is any real incentive and comfort in that fact, as the Lakers, Mavs and Thunder still jostle for slots 2-4 in the Western Conference Playoffs. However, playoff seeding aside, we have had some incredible success this season backing the Blazers at home; not just earning wins in the standings but in the gambling covers as well.

Portland has won four of five, including an impressive 93-86 win over the Lakers on Friday night. LaMarcus Alderidge is emerging as a legit All-NBA caliber player. It remains to be seen if he can sneak past Garnett and some others for Third Team honors, but either way, he deserves to be right in the mix.

The season series between the two is tied at a game a piece, and tonight’s game would not only alter the standings but also give the winning team the tie-breaker advantage as well.

Memphis has played fantastic as well over the last month, winning 9 of 11. Much of their success has been the offensive dominance of their inside play. The Grizz are riding Zach Randolf and Marc Gasol to a league high 51.3 points in the paint. However, don’t underestimate the contributions of Mike Conley’s penetration creating lanes and open layups and dunks.

Tonight’s game is important, and even though memphis has played extremely well, I like Portland at home to narrowly cover the 5 point spread.

FREE PICK: Protland Trailblazers -5

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Chris Scheeren / Author

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