It was all about the home floor on Wednesday night, as the home team won an astonishing 8 of 10 Wednesday night NBA contests. Playing at home surely has its perks, but it’s not all that often that it’s that one-sided. Even weirder are the two spots where the home team didn’t win. Utah started the year off with three straight road games and going back to Utah for their home opener didn’t prove to be beneficial, while the Thunder fell to the Raptors, who stayed undefeated.
There was even more craziness elsewhere, as the Wizards upended the visiting Spurs and the Magic forced overtime in Houston, losing for a fourth time this season by five points or less. The rest of the games went largely as expected, as we ended the night with a solid 7-3 record (43-26 on the year).
The slate thins down a bit on Thursday night, but we still have a healthy five-game slate, featuring an intense showdown between the Thunder and Bulls. Without further haste, here are tonight’s NBA picks:
Thunder @ Bulls
Chicago was lifeless against the Hornets the other day and while all of their troubles thus far have come on the road, I can’t seem to buy them against OKC right now. The Thunder would be losing a third straight if they dropped this one at the United Center, and they’re too good to do that. More specifically, Jimmy Butler is the only Bulls player that has been reliable this year. Derrick Rose is a shell of his former self at the moment and Chicago’s defense isn’t equipped to handle OKC’s offense.
Pick: Thunder 105, Bulls 102
Heat @ Timberwolves
Dwyane Wade made the trip to Minnesota but he’s questionable for tonight due to migraine issues. I think he plays, but the problem limited him in Miami’s last game and the Heat may not use him as much as they normally would with the Timberwolves being a winnable matchup without him. We think, at least. The Timberwolves are filled with talent and Ricky Rubio has been outstanding through three games, so it’s possible the Heat have a fight on their hands. Maybe, but Hassan Whiteside has been a menace and I doubt rookie big man Karl-Anthony Towns will be able to dominate him at either end. This game is closer if Wade doesn’t play, but I like Miami, regardless.
Pick: Heat 101, T’Wolves 96
Hornets @ Mavs
Dallas has been an interesting team, as they’re staying afloat while a bunch of their guys slowly get healthy, but they’re not crushing it on offense in the process. Charlotte, meanwhile, is oddly putting up some points (102 per game) and is no longer a defensive threat. If the Hornets are actually hitting tonight we could get a weird shootout, but the Mavs are deeper and at home, so I think they pull it out.
Pick: Mavs 104, Hornets 99
Jazz @ Nuggets
Utah is back on the road for the fourth time in five games, but that’s where their defense has been at it’s best. Denver can get the offense rolling at times, but they still don’t play any defense and I think rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will struggle to get into a groove against such a solid defense. Gordon Hayward should have his best game yet in a nice road win.
Pick: Jazz 104, Nuggets 97
Grizzlies @ Blazers
Memphis has been very up and down so far this year and could enter this matchup in Portland at less than 100%. Marc Gasol has been pretty spare and he’s now dealing with a sore neck. He could dominate this matchup if he’s out there, but his availability is shaky. I think Memphis is the better team even without Gasol, as they play far better defense and Portland really has little else beyond Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Those guys will probably still get theirs, but it will be in a loss.
Pick: Grizz 104, Blazers 101