Brooklyn is still in it and so is New Orleans. The Spurs are headed back to the playoffs as are the Raptors and the Cavs and Mavs are hoping they meet again in the NBA Finals.All six teams have much to play for tonight in the National Basketball Association.
New Orleans (+2.5) at Brooklyn – The Pelicans enter the game one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot out West. New Orleans has won seven of their last ten games and they’ve benefited greatly from the return of Anthony Davis.
Despite losing three straight, the Nets are still alive in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are two and a half games back of Indiana and Miami who are tied for the eight spot as of this writing.
Both of these teams are going to e very interesting to watch in the final couple of weeks but with New Orleans perhaps more so because of the legitimate threat they pose in the Western Conference.
Trends: Both teams surrender 99 points per game but NO has a three-point advantage over Brooklyn in points per game.
The Pick: I like the Nets and the points tonight.
Toronto (+7.5) at San Antonio – The Raptors have picked a horrible time to go in the tank as they’ve lost eight of their last ten and three straight. They’ve gone from the all-important second seed in the East to the fourth. They dropped a tough road game at OKC and now head to the Lone Star State to play the defending champs.
The Spurs appear to be peaking at the right time. They’ve won five in a row and defeated Chicago the other night without Tim Duncan scoring a point. The last time that happened Duncan was a freshman at Wake Forest!
Trends: The Raptors score three points more per game than do the Spurs but San Antonio gives up four points less per game.
The Pick: I love the Raptors getting the 7.5 here.
Cleveland (-4) at Dallas – To no one’s surprise the Cavaliers have pulled into the second spot in the Eastern Conference but with 20 games left they aren’t going to catch the Atlanta Hawks. In some cases, the Cavs might just put it on cruise control but they can’t because both Chicago and Toronto are still hanging tough with them.
Cleveland enters tonight’s game in Dallas having won seven of their last ten while the Mavericks have gone 5-5 over the same stretch. Dallas is in pretty solid position in terms of the playoffs as they are currently tied with the Clippers for the fifth spot out West. One has to wonder whether things have gotten any better between Rajon Rondo and his coach Rick Carlisle. The up and down results of late speak of the problems that may exist.
Trends: The Mavericks have won eight of their last ten games straight up against the Cavs and they are 7-3 against the spread in those same games.