The Miami Heat’s train of easy early season games continues tonight, as they travel into the motor city to tip it off with the very young Detroit Pistons. What have the NBA Odds makers laid out on the table for us in this matchup?

The NBA betting lines for this matchup are in favor of the road Heat at -7 ½, as Miami continues to play exceptionally well in the month of December. The Heat are 9-3 SU in the month of December, and with the month quickly coming to a close, can Miami continue their run and finish 2012 on a high note?

The Heat is on

The Big Three

I mentioned earlier in the season when Miami was getting beat by teams like the Wizards that this team in not the same team they were when they won the title. The Heat were giving up a lot of points, and their defensive intensity was nowhere to be found. 

It seems, however, that they turned the defensive switch on in the month of December, as they have returned to the same form that took them all the way last season. 

If the Heat don’t play defense, they won’t win and they know it. Miami has all the talent in the world, but if their effort isn’t there on the defensive end, they are just another Eastern Conference playoff team

The reason I bring up Miami’s selective defense is because of their opponent tonight. NBA players are just like us, and even though they claim to treat every game the same and don’t look ahead on the schedule, it’s not true. Just look at Miami’s effort against the Wizards earlier this season, where they failed to take their opponent seriously, and paid dearly

I’m afraid the Heat are going to overlook the 9-22 SU Pistons and their 23rd ranked offense. Even though the Heat have been playing with a little more urgency lately, I’m a bit worried about their current schedule. They are currently on a four game road streak, and after beating the Bobcats on Wednesday, the Heat have this one against the Pistons. The problem is they have a back-to-back tomorrow against the Bucks, a team they played into overtime in November. The Pistons game might just be a trap.

Motor City blues 

It’s another year, and another season of hapless Detroit basketball. Joe Dumars should have been fired a long time ago, but he is still in charge, and sinking this team deeper into oblivion. The Pistons have lost ten out of fourteen December games and it seems like this team will never put together their talent.

This team has the ability to compete on any given night. With the talent they have configured, they should at least be able to be a .500 team. Coach Lawrence Frank is probably one of the issues along with Dumars, but Frank has at least shown his ability to get his team to play defense. They will have to turn up their defense tonight against the Heat. The problem is, will it be enough to stop the high-powered Heat offense.

The Sharp Pick 

Even with Dwyane Wade being out for this game after kicking Ramon Sessions where the sun doesn’t shine, I think the Heat will win this game. I actually think the Heat play better without Wade. Wade doesn’t spread the floor anymore because he has taken the three point shot out of his game, and it will give more time for Lebron James to have the ball in his hand. Ray Allen will also be out for this game, but as long as Lebron is playing, the Heat will cover this one.

My Pick: Heat -7 ½ at 5Dimes