The Heat v. Lakers game lived up to the advance hype last night, as Miami defended their home court and finally snapped their five-game losing streak. I don’t know if this signifies that all is well down in Miami, but a loss certainly would have compounded the growing catastrophic their city and their fans have embraced often this year.
More importantly, in a close game down the stretch, the Heat shined rather than shrunk. Dwayne Wade scored eight of his 20 points in the final frame, including a huge steal of Kobe Bryant that cemented the Heat victory.
While the Heat had cause for a brief celebration, Kobe Bryant showed yet another odd example of the Michael Jordan-like incessant motor for perfection – following the game, and the snapping of his team’s eight game winning streak, Kobe headed to the weight room rather than to the customary team flight home.
If this was indeed a preview of the Finals many anticipated before the season, we could be in for an epic series.
Today’s Free NBA Picks:
Boston Celtics -2 @ Philadelphia 76’ers
This is a great rubber-meets-the-road game, as the 76’ers, who have dominated at home, host the Celtics who have dominated everywhere. Here’s another interesting stat; over the past seven weeks no team in the Eastern Conference has more wins than the Philadelphia 76’ers.
That said, Boston is a notch above the oponents that have recently fallen in Philly. The Sixers have only dropped three games in their last ten, but all were against teams with one of the eight best records in the NBA.
That’sthe primary difference between very good and great teams; being able to beat the other elite teams. Boston has done it all season; heck, for three and half seasons now; Phily is still teetering on that fine line between “legit” and “hot streak.”
I think Phily will give whoever they meet in the first round of the Playoffs fits, whether it is Boston or Chicago, but not tonight. Give me Ray Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Rondo; the “Big Four” getting the big win on the road.
PICK: Boston Celtics -2 – Click here to bet it at BetED and get a $250 Bonus!!
Orlando Magic -4.5 @ Golden State Warriors
The Magic looked pretty bad in their last two outings after their huge win over Miami, losing two straight home games to Chicago and Portland (who alos went down to Miami and won). It’s not a huge shame losing two games to playoff-caliber teams, but the 83 points per game and the 16.5 turnovers are cause for some concern.
However, there are few teams better to work out your offensive woes against than the Warriors, who allow a staggering 106.1 points per game. They also have nothing even resembling an answer for Dwight Howard inside, and the Magic’s stable of shooting guards should enjoy the freedom a loose defense provides.
The Magic have won four straight road games and six straight overall against the Warriors. I think they snap their two-game losing skid tonight by making it a seventh straight win over Golden State.
PICK: Orlando Magic -4.5 – Click here to bet it at BetED and get a $250 Bonus!!