Wednesday hit us in the gut with an insane slate of 12 NBA games and quite a few of them ended up being impossible to predict. Gordon Hayward step-back jumper to lift the Jazz over the Cavaliers, anyone? That’s to be expected with so many games in one night, though. Eventually some crazy starts dropping.

Then again, perhaps Hayward has turned into a beast and we actually have to pay attention to the Jazz. Overall, we still fared well on the night, as we nailed an 8-4 record across the 12 contests. There are only two games on the docket for Thursday night, but we’ll try to go 2-0 and add to our solid start with our 2014 NBA Picks (37-13 on the year):

Spurs @ Rockets

This one is going to be very tough to call, as we haven’t seen nearly as much of the Spurs (2-1) as we have of the Rockets (5-0). One has to wonder if the Spurs will “Pop” the Rockets here and rest their big stars on the second night of a back-to-back, but if everyone is there at full strength, we could be in for a tooth and nail battle. Houston obviously is undefeated and they tend to play quite well at home, while this new nasty brand of defense they’re playing should scare other teams in the Western Conference.

San Antonio is the veteran squad, though, and they have to know falling to 2-2 and letting the Rockets get to 6-0 early in the year is not something they can allow to happen. No Tiago Splitter hurts them, but the Spurs are still playing solid defense and should have a chance to squeak out the big road win.

Pick: Spurs 101, Rockets 99

Mavericks @ Blazers

This is a fantastic battle for several reasons, as Dirk Nowitzki versus LaMarcus Aldridge could be a back and forth show. The major storyline, however, is Portland boasting one of the better defenses and going up against the Mavs’ top-scoring offense. Something may have to break here, and given the number of weapons the Mavericks have, this game is much more likely to lean toward being a shootout than a defensive battle the Blazers win on pure grit. That being said, Portland is especially tough at home. You can chase the points in this one, but if you’re making a straight up pick you probably have to ride the Blazers in this one. They can match Dallas offensively and if someone needs a defensive stop, they’re probably the ones that get it.

Pick: Blazers 112, Mavs 107

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