Making the right calls for NBA games on Thursday night wasn’t very difficult. However, with the Knicks almost upsetting the visiting Cavaliers (lost by three), we’ll take a perfect 3-0 on the night. That brings us to a stellar 136-65 on the year (67% accuracy) as we gear up for a jam-packed Friday night of pro basketball.
Let’s get to our picks for Friday, December 5th, 2014:
Knicks @ Hornets
New York suffered another tough loss last night and will really want to turn things around tonight against a bad Hornets team that has dropped 10 straight. Losers of six straight themselves and unable to get out of their own way, New York probably blows this one, too.
Pick: Hornets 99, Knicks 96
Thunder @ 76ers
Kevin Durant should be much better in his second game back, while a Thunder squad at full strength isn’t one to bet against normally. That’s especially the case in Philly tonight, where the Sixers chase their second win in a row (and of the year).
Pick: Thunder 115, 76ers 95
Nuggets @ Wizards
Denver has been a pretty solid team lately (7-3 over last 10), but the Wiz are 8-2 at home and play much better defense. No Paul Pierce could hurt the Wiz, but they’re still the strong favorite on their home court.
Pick: Wiz 101, Nuggets 94
Hawks @ Nets
Atlanta has been killing it and is a nice surprise at 11-6, while the Nets are riding high off of an OT win over the Spurs. This one could be a classic toss up with the hometown Nets getting the slight edge due to superior defense.
Pick: Nets 104, Hawks 102
Cavaliers @ Raptors
Cleveland won last night but will come in on the second of a back to back pretty tired after narrowly beating the Knicks in New York. Winning in Toronto is hard enough, but LeBron James has a banged up elbow and taking this one might be asking too much.
Pick: Raptors 105, Cavs 102
Lakers @ Celtics
You will find no defense when the Lakers meet up with the Celtics in Boston tonight. Both teams put up a ton of points and give them up even quicker, so we can expect a lot of back and forth. Kobe Bryant has been dropping points and distributing the ball well, so L.A. could have a chance at getting another win here.
Pick: Lakers 106, Celtics 103
Rockets @ Timberwolves
Houston still won’t have Dwight Howard back and all of their point guards are hurt, but I still can’t see them losing in Minnesota tonight. The ‘Wolves are missing important bodies of their own, while Mo Williams might also sit out. If he does, Minnesota probably doesn’t stand a chance.
Pick: Rockets 107, Timberwolves 95
Spurs @ Grizzlies
Two defensive-minded teams wage war in Memphis, as the Grizzlies try to erase a drubbing by the Rockets recently. This one could go down to the wire, but the Spurs need the win more as they’re sliding in the most competitive division in the league.
Pick: Spurs 104, Grizzlies 99
Heat @ Bucks
Two very averages teams clash in Milwaukee tonight, where the Heat will try to crack .500 without Luol Deng. If he’s out, the Heat will be somewhat undermanned on the road. The Bucks are playing well, so I’ll give them the edge at home.
Pick: Bucks 101, Heat 97
Suns @ Mavericks
Phoenix heads to Dallas for what could be the highest scoring battle of the night. Dirk Nowitzki should be well rested enough to have a solid outing, while the Suns will need their guards to play extremely well to earn the tough road win.
Pick: Mavs 108, Suns 106
Magic @ Jazz
The Magic seemed to give up against the Clippers in their last game, so hopefully they’ll work harder to upend the Jazz tonight. Utah looks to be the favorites, though, as star center Nikla Vucevic may be out again (back) for the Magic.
Pick: Jazz 104, Magic 101
Pacers @ Kings
Indiana comes into Sacramento at it’s healthiest it’s been all year, so they should have a good chance of taking down a DeMarcus Cousins-less Kings squad. Sacramento is the slight favorite at home, but the Pacers played hard last night and will be hungry to get this win. If Roy Hibbert dominates, they just might get it.
Pick: Pacers 97, Kings 95