NBA Picks and Predictions for February 15th

As a franchise, coach, GM or fan, you love to see your young players with a little bit of fight.  You don’t, however, want them fight-ing.  Such are the semantics of the latest escapade with DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings.

Cousins got into a physical altercation with teammate Donte’ Green following the Kings 99-97 loss last week.  He was allegedly angered that Green passed the ball to Tyreke Evans rather than to him, to attempt the game winning shot (it obviously missed).  Maturity was the question mark hovers around Cousins at the time of the draft last year, and it is obvious the question still lingers and looms large.

If the Kings really wanted to show him how to be a professional, perhaps they should have him shadow around Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs for a few days.  Despite enduring their longest road trip of the season, the Spurs just continue to win, this time downing New Jersey by 17.

With the Lakers completely no-showing tonight in Charlotte (a really embarrassing effort), the Spurs moved a full seven games ahead of the champs, and it appears they might be able to sew up the top seed a few weeks early, granting them the opportunity to get some rest for some aging (though seemingly age-less) legs.

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Today’s Free NBA Picks:

Miami Heat -5.5 @ Indiana Pacers

No team in the NBA is any hotter than the Indiana Pacers, winners of seven of eight since making an abrupt midseason coaching change.  Granted, it hasn’t been a murderer’s row of opponents, but wins are wins, and the Pacers have been piling them up.  In fact, their only blemish during their current eight game stretch was a 117-112 loss at Miami last week.

Earlier in the season the Pacers beat the Heat in Indy.  Tonight they will attempt to do the same.  Playing to the Pacer’s advantage is the fact they will have a few extra days rest, as opposed to the Heat who are fresh off yesterday’s testy slugfest in Boston.  It is exactly the kind of game a supremely talented team occasionally sleepwalks into, and the red-hot underdog knocks them off at home.

The numbers favor the Heat, but then again, they pretty much always do.  However, I like the hot hand of Indy, and the fact that a

PICK: Indiana Pacers +5.5

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Charlotte Bobcats @ Chicago Bulls -9.5

Nothing portends impending road disaster like playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road less than 24 hours after humiliating the two-time defending champs at home.  That’s exactly the karma the Bobcats are up against when they head into Chicago to face the surging Bulls.

However, there are a lot of stats on Charlotte’s side.  They are 2-0 against the Bulls this season, and 6-4 over the past three seasons.  Even more positive for the Bobcats, they are 7-2-1 against the spread in those ten games.  In all of those seasons the Bobcats were a better team than the Bulls, yet it didn’t equate when they matched up on the court.  There’s the beauty of the NBA.  Talent is closer to even than most people think – it’s matchups that swing most wins & losses – and Charlotte matches up well against Chicago.

I like the Bobcats, perhaps not to win, but to at least make a game of it.  The Bulls haven’t beaten the Bobcats by double digits in any of their four wins, and obviously not in their six losses.  Gimme Charlotte, who has been playing good basketball overall as well (winners of 4 of their last 5) and the nine and a half points.

PICK: Charlotte Bobcats +9.5

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Chris Scheeren / Author