Excepts from Mad Max’s notes:
Rockets at Magic
Orlando hosted one Western Conference powerhouse on Wednesday and couldn’t keep up. Now they welcome a second leader in the West as James Harden and the Rockets come to town on a short road trip. Harden lit the Cavs up for 55 on Wednesday. But the Rockets only won by 6. The Rockets should win this game, but I can’t trust them to cover right now.
Pelicans at Sixers
The Sixers slayed the Celtics in Boston breaking their undefeated streak and now they aim to stay undefeated at home as they welcome the Pelicans in town tonight. The Sixers will be in a back to back situation and with how well Embiid played yesterday, it could be a chance where he rests against a lesser team. The Pelicans have lost 10 in a row and haven’t looked competitive in many of those losses.
Lakers at Heat
The Heat are unbeaten at home and technically the Lakers have not lost on the road. Something will give tonight. LeBron will look to take it to his former team who seemingly have found their future with a very focused Jimmy Butler. Each team is riding a good winning streak with LA winners of 5 and Miami winners of 3. The Heat are still battling some injuries while the Lakers are overall in good health.
Pacers at Hawks
The Hawks are coming off a big blowout at the hands of Chicago on Wednesday. One thing that has plagued them all season has been turnovers. They had 23 against the Bulls. Now they must play a Pacers team that is coming off a big win against the Celtics. The Pacers have been get contributions by a plethora of players and Wednesday it was Brogdon and the Holiday brothers. The Hawks are 3-8 straight up at home this year but that improves to 6-5 against the spread. I’d love to bet them with these points but I don’t trust them.
Hornets at Bulls
This is the third time the teams will meet this season and the last two games were within 1 point. The Hornets won the first game in Chicago by 1 and the Bulls won the second game in Charlotte by 1. The Bulls are coming off a damn good win against an overmatched Hawks team and hope to keep that offensive momentum alive. I like the Bulls here, but the shift has made it a little out my comfort zone.
Bucks at Grizzlies
It’s hard to remember the last time the Bucks lost a game. They have won 16 games and even without Giannis they managed to beat the Pelicans by 15 points. Giannis is day to day, and I can’t imagine him playing tonight if he’s not anywhere close to 100%. Memphis has a win streak going too. It’s only two games but after losing 9 of 10, a two-game streak probably feels like 16 straight. Without Giannis the Bucks can beat the lesser teams badly but Ja Morant has Memphis playing better than the real shit teams in the league.
Warriors at Jazz
The Warriors lost to the Knicks in OT and it’s hard to imagine them competing with the Jazz. Utah hasn’t been stellar lately but they did have a good win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday. The news is that Steph Curry will return in two months. I expect that to take a bit longer and he will see some limited action in March and then shut down to rest in April. Because it makes no sense to push him out there and just tank for a top pick. The Jazz need to get their defense going and today will be a good chance for that. The Jazz are only 10-15 ATS and 5-7 ATS at home. They will win this game but until they show their defense is right, the Warriors could be the play.
Clippers at Timberwolves
After a strong start to the season Minnesota finds themselves at 10-14 and losers of 6 in a row. The Clippers bounced back from the thrashing by Milwaukee and have won 3 straight. Since PG13 joined the team, the Clippers have gone 12-3 and he and Kawhi are both averaging 23 points per game. It shows that they are playing well together and balance each other’s offensive game. For the T-Wolves, they have a 1-2 punch in KAT and Wiggins but not much else. The Clippers do have depth and scoring around their big 2.
Knicks at Kings
See, I say fuck the Knicks and they win a game. But it was close. They gave up a 22 point lead to the Warriors and had to win in OT. Marcus Morris had a great game and he also had a great one earlier this season when the Knicks last played the Kings. That game ended in a blowout loss and Sacramento hopes to stop a potential Knicks win streak tonight and go for their fourth in a row. I don’t know what to do here.
Devils at Avalanche
The Devils fired their head coach and they continue to lose. It just means that this team needs a lot more pieces to be competitive. Rumor has it that forward Taylor Hall could be traded soon and I’d expect the Devils to start tanking to eye a high pick for a new goalie. Hall leads the team in scoring and will be a great addition to any playoff bound team. Such as the Colorado Avalanche who are playing good lately but could use some extra offense for a Stanley Cup push. The Avalanche are currently second in the Western Conference and have a +29 goal differential. Even with the chalk it seems obvious to bet them.
Golden Knights at Stars
The Golden Knights lost last night to the Blues and head to Dallas to play a Stars team that has won three straight. Dallas will play tomorrow as well so each team is catching the other in one leg of a back to back. For the Stars, it’s their league leading defense that has pushed them to wins. But their offense is something to be improved as they are the 5th worst. Dallas is 12-4 at home and also 12-4 against Conference opponents.