Oct. 25, 2017
NBA Picks #1
By no means am I an expert. Sure I like to watch basketball games, but I don't stat crunch like all the other pro NBA gamblers do. I am more of an eye test guy. I have to see it to believe it. Lonzo Ball is the next Magic Johnson. Show me. Ben Simmons is the next LeBron James. Prove it. The Timberwolves are this years NBA breakout team. I guess you are probably right about that one. But from this day on I will try to pick every NBA game for the rest of the season. Hopefully I don't pick a game that is wrong. Hopefully I get a career by doing this. All I know for certain is that I agree with 100% of the picks from this point on.
Bulls at Cavaliers (-15.5)
With news that Dwyane Wade (I think I spelled his name right?) is coming off the bench for the first time this season, JR Smith will finally be able to unleash his full capabilities this season. I'm under the impression that starting lineups do not matter, what matters is who is in during the last five minutes. Wade knows this as well and now it comes down to has the best 43 minutes during the game between him and Smith or what match-ups the other team puts out on the court. However, for this game I don't think the last five minutes will matter very much. The Bulls roster looks like a college Final Four team from three years ago with the addition of Robin Lopez. Thanks to the sucker punch of Bobby Portis to Nikola Mirotic their depth chart keeps getting slimmer. It's as if Derrick Rose did make a difference to this lineup all those years and his ghost is haunting the city of Chicago.
Nets at Magic (-3.5)
The second match-up of the season between these two teams, with Brooklyn having the upper hand in the first bout, 126-121. Since then, Orlando whooped the mighty Cavaliers shooting an unbelievable 48.6% from three point land. I'm going to say it; it was a major fluke. There's no way the Magic should have competed with the Cleveland LeBron's. This is the only instance they could have won the game and they took advantage of their porous shots. The Nets haven't faced one playoff team this season, but still have one loss. It's hard to determine whether this team is average or at the bottom of the league totem pole as they usually are. Both these teams are fighting for mediocrity and wins against each other will help the cause. Orlando will continue to pound on teams when they are not supposed to behind the three point powers of Evan Fournier and bruising center Nikola Vucevic.
Knicks at Celtics (-9)
The Knicks have not won a game yet this season including the preseason (0-6). They kind of already blew up their team, trading Carmelo Anthony for Enes Kanter and Dougie McBuckets. The lone prospect they have is Kristaps Porzingis and he is already trade bait. What do you do if you are the Knicks? You can't start over because you are already in operation ground zero. You can't sign a free agent because the last one you signed was getting verbally abused by the front office. Heck, former legends are getting heckled in the stands and the owner is saying they need to contain their alcoholism. Do you intentionally tank hoping to get the next big prospect to play alongside Porzingis? Trade Porzingis for prospects and future draft picks? It's a mess and Boston's current situation is the exact opposite: a team that is in rebuild mode along with contending for a championship. Kyrie Irving is finally in the position he wants to be in, but it is still yet to be known whether he can lead a team by himself to the postseason. It starts with beating teams that aren't making the postseason.
Celtics Win but Knicks cover
Pacers at Timberwolves (-11)
Minnesota has the potential to be a top four team in the West this season. Their only blunder to this day is the Kawhi-less Spurs, but still, it's the Spurs. With wins over the Thunder and the Jazz this team should not be slept on. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are both almost in their peak years while Jimmy Butler is still getting adjusted to the lineup. The Pacers are going in the opposite direction, getting rid of Paul George in the off-season and starting off the season with a win-less streak. I don't think Victor Oladipo is the type of player you want to build a franchise around but it is nice for the fans who were rooting for him while he was in college. The main prize the Pacers own is Myles Turner. The bad news is that in this league centers are things of the past, especially when you don't have play makers around them (See New York Knicks).
Pelicans at Trail Blazers (-3.5)
Portland's home opener comes a week into the season but against a team that has still not reached it's potential. New Orleans's has a top 10 player in the league along with a power forward that is at the very least in the top 25 and they still can not produce wins. They need a point guard that can kick some ass. I'm not sure Jrue Holiday is that guy. Let's be fair, the two teams the Pelicans lost to so far were the Grizzlies who are still yet to lose a game and have played the Warriors and the Rockets, and the Warriors themselves who were coming off a season opening loss. This team may not be in the dumps yet, but they have a test tonight against Portland who is a legit playoff team and will stretch the floor, leaving Davis and Cousins defending on the perimeter. Honestly, the Blazers should be coming into this game undefeated. A no call by the refs on a Giannis Antetokounmpo reach left the game in shambles for the Blazers. Tonight is a rebound game that I'm not so sure that they win.
Jazz at Clippers (-4.5)
I like this Clippers team. They seem to have found an identity without Chris Paul, especially Blake Griffin. Griffin is now shooting THREES, and he's not missing them (54%)! Patrick Beverly is taking advantage of the point guard role and showing that replacing CP3 isn't going to be that hard. The main concern with this Clippers team is staying healthy. Who knows if Blake can last a whole season, especially scoring the majority of the team's points. The Jazz on the other hand are still holding their ground after losing Gordan Hayward to free agency. This is their third test in a row against a guaranteed playoff team, they split the last two against the Timberwolves and the struggling Thunder. This game is very interesting because these teams are in the middle of the pack, in terms of playoff seeding for the West. Each win against each other may prove monumental at the end of the season. That being said I don't think this game is going to be close and I think the Clippers prove to everyone that they never really needed Paul