Suns vs. Kings Pick NBA – Dec 26th

It was an emotional return to Miami for LeBron James, and while the Cavs didn’t get the win they were hoping for, the NBA and the fans of Miami got a perfect early evening television event. James was visibly fighting back tears after a video montage played on the jumbotron, and the fans of Miami, who might have acted jilted, instead expressed gratitude and admiration for their former superstar. If anything, the “Sixth Man” might have made a good move in embracing LeBron and coaxing out tears rather than angering him by booing…

Either way, we didn’t get the Christmas Day I was hoping for as both of my road picks came up short. It’s a pretty good slate of action today, so we will try to get back on track with a winner today to start the weekend.

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Today’ Free Pick:

Phoenix Suns -2 at Sacramento Kings

It’s been a strange season for the Sacramento Kings. They got off to their best start since the Webber/Vlade/Peja era and looked like they could contend in the very crowded Western Conference. Rudy Gay was playing efficient basketball. Darren Collison was proving an inexplicable upgrade over Isaiah Thomas and things were good. Then DeMarcus Cousins missed ten games with meningitis, their head coach got bizarrely fired and things have generally been a mess sense.

So what to make of Sacramento? Are they the good team we saw first or the train wreck with an interim coach? I’m going to lean more to the first. As much as the coaching situation is strange, the biggest problem was the absence of MVP-candidate Boogie Cousins from the lineup. Look at the Thunder without Durant and Westbrook – from Finals contenders to the worst team in the West. Now take the best player off a team with less wiggle room. That’s the Kings.

Phoenix has won four in a row and has played really good basketball the last week and half. They have nice wins over Dallas and @ Washington. But prior to that they dropped six in row and I’m not sure their four-point guard experiment is going to work out well. Players don’t seem to be enjoying themselves and there appears to be a lot of confusion about team roles.

I like Sacramento to get thing rolling a little but after Christmas. They get an opportunity to get a good win over a solid team at home tonight and have a pair of winnable games coming up against the two New York teams. Plus, I’m getting a few points to boot, which is always nice. I’ll take Boogie to finally shake off the last ill-effects of his illness and to abuse Alex Len and the Suns smaller interior tonight.

Free Pick: Sacramento Kings +2

Chris Scheeren / Author