Miami (16-3, 8-8, Away) will travel to Utah to take on the Jazz who are 20-19 on the year, but hold one of the best home court advantages with an 11-4 record. The Heat are in the midst of a six game road trip where they have already started off a very poor 1-2. Despite that, the NBA odds makes have opened Miami a 2.5 point road favorite with the total at 197.
Look for a gritty defensive effort from Miami tonight
Erik Spoelstra has made a reputation for himself of following in his mentor, Pat Rileys footsteps and not putting up with this petty nonsense the Heat have been going through the last three games. Against Indiana, the Heat were simply out worked and out hustled in every aspect of the game, leading to a double digit defeat. Spoelstra was than quoted as saying “we had a practice with full pads and mouth pieces” (a football reference, meaning a very intense, physical practice). They followed that up by dominating the TrailBlazers for 47 minutes on the road, but somehow Wesley Mathews pulled a rabbit out of his hat and hit two threes in the final seconds for the come behind victory.
Well that surely woke the Heat up, as they came out hungry against Sacramento in their next game and absolutely put a hurting on them 128-99. We fully expect that same type of mentality to carry over tonight in to Utah. If this Heat team wants to defend their Championship, they have got to be better than a .500 road team, and they all know it.
Utah was won five out of seven but...
Each of their recent wins have come against league bottom feeders like Detroit, Charlotte, Dallas, Phoenix and Minnesota. They have a great home court advantage tonight and they present the Heat a ton of matchup problems with their size, but Utah is taking a step way up in class here.
Lay the 2.5 points
Miami is on a mission right now; this is a critical juncture in their season to prove to themselves and the league, that they can get it going on the road. Expect one of the best efforts on the defensive side of the ball tonight, leading to classic Heat basketball, getting out in the fast break and easy transition buckets. They are out for blood tonight.
NBA Picks: Miami -2.5
Charlotte at Boston
The worst team in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats (9-27, 7-11 Away) will come into TD Bank Garden tonight to take on the Boston Celtics (19-17, 12-6, Home). NBA lines have opened the Celtics up an 11 point favorite with the OVER/UNDER at 189.5. See why we are adding the OVER to our NBA picks for this this match up.
Bostons scoring and Charlottes poor defense.
On the year the Bobcats are giving up almost 104 points per contest while letting their opponents shoot 46 percent from the floor and an astounding 40 percent from three! Over their last five games they have given up 96, 99, 112, 101 and 106 points. In their last ten matchups, they have held just one team to under 95 points. Now let’s take a look at the offensives they have played over that stretch because they aren't exactly power houses. Indiana, Toronto, Utah, Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans and I am just going to stop there, assuming you get the picture.
Now onto the Celtics’ offense
I know it sounds strange putting the words “Celtics” and “Offense” in the same sentence. Well let’s takes a second look. They just dropped 103 against Houston and 102 recently against very good Knicks defensive team. Boston’s offensive numbers drastically improve on their home floor as they are pacing 98 points per game on almost 50% shooting from the floor and 35% from three and it will only get better tonight against this porous Bobcats defense.
Take the OVER
Remember we told you, Charlotte gives up 46% shooting and with Boston averaging 50% shooting on their home floor we wouldn't be surprised at all to see Rajon Rondo run this offense to pure perfection tonight and get Boston in the high 100s and this one sail over the posted total.
NBA Picks: Charlotte Boston OVER 189.5