After that, the TNT double-header night cap will see a contrast of styles as the half-court Chicago Bulls take on the run-and-gun Denver Nuggets.
Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics
As many problems as the Los Angeles Lakers have had, they enter Thursday’s game on three-game winning streak. They’ve also won six of seven. However, they are still three games out of a playoff spot and it sure doesn’t feel like this team has momentum.
The Lakers will be without Pau Gasol and likely without Dwight Howard on Thursday night, which makes things quite challenging. On top of that, Kobe Bryant has called out Howard for his lack of urgency and once again we are left questioning the chemistry in the Lakers locker room.
The Boston Celtics have injuries of their own to deal with but they’ve been far more cohesive. While many people read them their last rites when Rajan Rondo was lost for the season, they’ve in fact, won five straight losing him.
Both teams are actually playing as well as they have all season long. The difference in this contest should be the Celtics depth as they have played four straight games where they’ve had five players score in double figures. That’s the depth of balance that the Lakers are lacking without Gasol and Howard, and that should be the difference.
NBA Picks: Celtics -2.5 at Bodog
Chicago Bulls at Denver Nuggets
The Chicago Bulls-Denver Nuggets matchup is going to be one of contrasting styles. It’s an odd spot for the NBA odds makers as this game will either likely be a Nuggets win and a clear over, or a Bulls win and a clear under. It’s unlikely the Bulls win in a run-and-gun style of contest or the Nuggets win in a slow, half-court style of game.
At this point, it’s hard to bet against the Nuggets. They’ve won seven straight at home and 13 of their last 15 overall. They have been one of the league’s best home teams this season at 21-3 and they make particularly good use of their high altitude.
The Bulls are up against it for this contest as they are dealing with a slew of injuries. While most people are aware that Derrick Rose is still out, the Bulls will could also be without Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah. Both miss the team’s latest contest on Monday.
As a result, the Bulls defense – which they’ll really need for this game – has suffered. They have let both the Indiana Pacers and New Jersey Nets shoot over 52% in the last week, which doesn’t bode well considering who they are slated to face on Thursday.
Take the Nuggets for your NBA Picks as they are healthier, playing better and have home-court advantage.
NBA Picks: Nuggets -6.5 at BetOnline[gameodds]5/217352//us[/gameodds]