The Grizzlies and Suns engaged in a crazy overtime thriller, the Heat dismissed the Clippers and LeBron was out again in a crazy Sunday night that left us staring at an average 3-2 record. We still come into Monday at a solid 304-159 on the year and should have a decent shot at escaping the first night of the week with a perfect run (just four games grace the schedule tonight), however.
Let’s break down tonight’s matchups and see who are the safest picks to win:
Pistons @ Raptors
Detroit has been awesome ever since they traded away Josh Smith (8-1) and that doesn’t figure to change much when they head into Toronto. Normally it might, but the Raptors have struggled mightily on defense over the past month and have now gone just 5-5 in their last 10 contests. They’re also losing their hold at home, but still boast a stout 15-4 record. Detroit has been too hot to ignore, so we’ll give them a fighter’s chance in this one, especially with DeMar DeRozan (pictured) still out.
Pick: Pistons 104, Raptors 101
Rockets @ Nets
Dwight Howard (knee) could rest on Monday, but the Rockets will walk into Brooklyn the favorites tonight, either way. Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee have been awful on defense together lately, as the Nets have dropped five in a row and just look completely lost. The odds aren’t in their favor of putting the pieces back together against Houston – even at home.
Pick: Rockets 106, Nets 99
Pelicans @ Celtics
The Jeff Green trade finally went through, which means the Celtics will be even more short-handed than usual. They have struggled mightily over their last 10 contests (2-8) and that trend figures to live on tonight. With little resistance down low, Anthony Davis should tee off and the rest of his Pellies teammates could follow suit.
Pick: Pelicans 107, Celtics 103
Magic @ Bulls
The Magic continue their attempt to get something going on the road, but it clearly hasn’t been going as planned as they enter tonight with a six game skid. That’s great news for Chicago, who hasn’t been amazing on their home floor this year (just 12-7), but gets Derrick Rose back (knee).
Pick: Bulls 104, Magic 98