The Boston Celtics played like a team who isn’t quite ready to relinquish their top dog standing to the new kids on the block, even if those new kids are boasting the addition of the two-time reigning NBA MVP. With more on the line today than mere pride; the Eastern Conference’s top record was on the line today when the Miami Heat challenged the Celtics.
If today’s game was any indication of what we can look forward to when the Playoff start in just a few months, there’s a lot to be looking forward to. Miami had a chance to force overtime, but when Mike Miller’s uncontested three from the top of the key bounced left off the iron, the Celtics ran their record against the Heat to a perfect 3-0.
The two teams are separated by just a half a game, but regardless of who ends up hosting the party, you can bet these two are gearing up for one heck of a series slugfest later on this season.
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Today’s Free NBA Picks:
San Antonio Spurs -8.5 @ New Jersey Nets (Total: 191)
San Antonio comes to New Jersey boasting the best record in the NBA, and a full six games clear of the defending champ Lakers for first place in the Western Conference. New Jersey meanwhile is still floundering under new ownership, and are headed for yet another appearance in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Spurs have dominated recent matchups with New Jersey, winning 9 of 10, and by a convincing margin of 10.4 ppg. Taking into account that the Spurs are likely better this season than in their past two years and the the Nets are equally bad, the trend points heavily towards San Antonio.
This season the Spurs boast a near league best point differencial at +7.3, while the Nets are among the worst at -6.2. That comes out to about 13.5 point difference, and factoring in the home court “advantage” for the Nets, and that’s pretty much how the -8.5 line comes to exist.
The Spurs have had a few days to regroup and rest their legs, despite being in the midst of a season long road trip. With the exception of last week’s loss in Phily, it doesn’t seem that road weariness is a problem for these suddenly-ageless Spurs.
I like San Antonio to push out to a lead in the first half and then pull away from the offensively challenged Nets in the 4th quarter.
Free Pick: San Antonio -8.5 @ MUST SEE -> Crazy Sports Betting System that emails winning premium selections.
Portland Trailblazers -3 @ Minnesota Timberwolves (Total: 201.5)
The Timberwolves have consistently been one of our better plays over the past few months, due in large part to their proclivity to hang around and play even the toughest teams in the league closely. Led by All-Star Kevin Love and his clockwork-consistent 20 point, 15 rebound outputs, the Wolves are putting a young, but talented team on the floor.
However, the matchup with the Blazers has not been a kind one for them, losing ten straight games straight-up, and losing against in spread in eight of those ten. The score differential has been a gaudy 15.2 points per contest. Those are some pretty ugly numbers for an NBA matchup – about as wide a discrepency as you will come across.
Plus, the T’Wolves are battling some injuries, with leading scorer Michael Beasley and the surprisingly contributing Darko Milicic both sidelined for the contest. Yes, I know, Portland is the poster child for injuries, but they have actually coped pretty well with the absence of Brandon Roy and have continued to play playoff-caliber basketball.
Three points is a pretty small price to lay to get a team that has dominated their opponent as thoroughly as Portland has Minnesota. Take the gift – and the Trailblazers in this contest.
Free Pick: Portland -3 @ MUST SEE -> Crazy Sports Betting System that emails winning premium selections.