Wednesday night was the first real run with our 2015 NBA picks, as the league spewed out a ridiculous 14 games onto the schedule. It was fun as heck and we got some really nice individual performances and some crazy games. The Magic kept things tight with the Wiz, C.J. McCollum has 22 points in the first quarter and the Cavaliers destroyed the Grizzlies with LeBron James doing very little of the scoring.
On the other side, we also got some weird upsets. New York crushed the Bucks in Milwaukee, Minnesota took down the Lakers and – the weirdest of them all – the Rockets got dismantled by the Nuggets at home.
It was a crazy, fully loaded NBA Wednesday night, and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. In the end, we made out OK with a decent 8-6 record, straight up (9-8 on the year). Let’s move on to Thursday’s games:
(-2.5) Memphis Grizzlies @ Indiana Pacers
Both Indy and Memphis started off with 0-1 starts and it’s easy to see Memphis is supposed to be the better team. They’re certainly the better defensive team, while it’s hard to think the Pacers have anyone who can handle either Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph down low. Indiana could fight hard at home, but they’re ultimately dropping to 0-2. My ATS picks were so awful last night I don’t even want to do ATS NBA picks anymore. That being said, I do like Memphis to cover.
Pick: Grizz 101, Pacers 94
(-4) Atlanta Hawks @ New York Knicks
The Knicks blew out the Bucks in Milwaukee to get to 1-0 on the year and now they’re at home for a back-to-back. Atlanta is the only team on this short slate that didn’t play in a game last night, so they should be fresh. They also got embarrassed at home by the Pistons on Tuesday, so I expect to see them come out and execute better to avoid an 0-2 start. Plus, the Knicks seemed to just have everything going their way against a depleted Bucks team last night. Even at home, I doubt it’s all roses tonight. The spread is a gamble just because the Knicks are at home and looked pretty decent last night, but Atlanta should come out angry and cover.
Pick: Hawks 106, Knicks 101
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Clippers (-10.5)
Easily the best game of the night, this one features two 1-0 teams that can play a lot of offense. L.A. is specifically a threat on their home floor, so Dallas really has their work cut out for them if they want to even stay in this one. We know they’ll want to win thanks to Clippers center DeAndre Jordan spurning them in the summer, but hey, you can’t always get what you want. Dirk Nowitzki and Wes Matthews on back-to-back contests may be bad for Dallas, while Deron Williams is banged up now and Chandler Parsons remains out. I definitely like the Clips to win all the way around, but this is a hefty line against a Mavs team that can still score the ball and will compete. Dallas should be able to keep this within 10.
Pick: Clips 111, Mavs 104