Josh Smith got traded, Kobe Bryant might take a break and way too many big names are banged up as we get the week started on Monday night. We almost got tripped up with a shaky 5-4 record on Sunday night and we attribute that to the Wizards and Thunder randomly failing to win at home, as well as the Magic caving at home to the Sixers.
Logic doesn’t always prevail, but for us during this 2014-15 NBA season, it largely has. We take our still stellar 220-109 season record into a nice seven-game night to start the week:
Nuggets @ Hornets
Charlotte has won two straight and hosts a Denver team that could be without Ty Lawson and also just lost Danilo Gallinari (again). It’s not easy picking the Hornets, but this isn’t a bad night to do so. If Lawson suits up, switch it back to the Nugs, however.
Pick: Hornets 99, Nuggets 96
Blazers @ Rockets
Portland has been awesome and brings a nice five-game run into Houston, but the Rockets are at home and are healthy. Both LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard are questionable tonight, but them sitting or playing is probably a wash. Houston has dropped two straight and needs a big win at home and I think they’ll get it.
Pick: Rockets 105, Blazers 104
Jazz @ Grizzlies
Memphis has dropped two straight and could be without Zach Randolph for the second game in a row (knee). That shouldn’t kill them tonight, however, as they’re 12-2 at home on the year and get a Jazz squad that is just 4-11 away from home this season.
Pick: Grizz 104, Jazz 97
Raptors @ Bulls
Derrick Rose (illness) should be back tonight, but the Bulls are pretty average at home and could also be down some bigs in this one. Toronto is strong (8-3) on the road and comes in as winners of six straight. They should hold a slight edge.
Pick: Raps 107, Bulls 104
Hawks @ Mavericks
Atlanta has been insane lately, winning 12 of their last 13 and surprising the entire league with an awesome 19-7 start. They could slow down eventually, but chances are they give the Mavs a run for their money. Dallas is pretty tough on their home floor, though, so we’ll take the Mavs in a shootout.
Pick: Mavs 111, Hawks 110
Clippers @ Spurs
Los Angeles has been playing solid basketball and are 7-3 over their last 10, but the Spurs sorely need to hold serve at home after dropping four straight. Expect San Antonio’s usual crew to get back on the floor in a game the Spurs need to steal.
Pick: Spurs 104, Clips 102
Kings @ Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins returned two games ago and the Kings have gone 1-1 since. They’ll slowly start building themselves back up, but running over Golden State on the road probably isn’t in the cards.
Pick: Warriors 107, Kings 101