Denver Nuggets (33-18) at Boston Celtics (26-23)
This is a matchup of two teams that are on fire. The Denver Nuggets have won 9 consecutive games while the Boston Celtics have won 6 consecutive games and have gotten themselves back into the playoff picture. One of these teams will have to lose tonight; Who will it be and what side of the NBA odds do we choose?
Better Without Rondo?
We don’t know what goes on behind lockeroom doors and we do know that Ray Allen had a problem with Rajon Rondo and that Rondo was a highly confrontational and emotional player. Nonetheless, that doesn’t take away from his talent. He left this season as the assist leader for the year up until the time that he played and was a major force on the court.
Paul Pierce has always been one of the most underrated and most clutch basketball players in the modern era.
Whether he goes 10 for 14 or 2 for 11, Pierce always comes through when the Celtics need him to. Pierce is coming off of a huge effort against a demoralized Los Angeles Lakers team in which he had 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
With Rondo out, the Celtics having been relying a lot more on their young talent such as Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley. Green is finally playing the way that he did at OKC and it couldn’t come at a more opportune time for Garnett and Pierce, who aren’t getting any younger.
Despite having no player selected to the All Star Game, the Nuggets have been unstoppable as of late. Aside from winning 9 straight games, they’ve won 14 out of their last 16 games, and have averaged 114.6 points during the streak. Most people can say that most of these games were played at home, but this has still been an impressive run.
2nd Tier Players
This is what I like to label a good NBA player and while Denver doesn’t have “The Truth” or “The Big Ticket”, they have Gallo, Faried, and Lawson.
Anyone of these players are capable of having a big night. Defense is an issue, but this team has young legs and it will be interesting to see if the aging Celtics stars can keep up with Denver.
NBA Picks: Denver/Boston OVER 204
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Oklahoma City Thunder (38-12) at Phoenix Suns (17-34)
You pretty much have a best against the worst scenario in this game in the Western Conference. The Thunder are on a mini 3 game winning streak, but have been steamrolling opponents all season, while the Phoenix Suns have been unable to work as a unit and sit at the bottom of the Western Conference. Basically, the Thunders 3rd best player is better than the Suns best player.
Revenge Factor or Repeat Performance?
Both of these teams just met on Friday and the Thunder made easy work of the Suns by a score of 127-96 in Oklahoma City. Statistics are irrelevant here as the Thunder sat their starters for a portion of this game.
That said, Michael Beasley played really well, coming off the bench with 25 points and Goran Dragic was reliable as usual for Phoenix.
This simply isn’t a good matchup for Phoenix. The Thunder have the top rated offense in the league with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook while the Suns defense has more holes than Swiss Cheese. OKC is giving Phoenix 8.5 points on the road and they should be able to beat up on the Suns some more. Take OKC to cover for your NBA picks today.
NBA Picks: Oklahoma City -8.5 at 5 Dimes[gameodds]5/217743/43/us[/gameodds]