Bushido bitch slaps Steve Swindal for taking the last Jiffy Pop and/or Guiness/bowl of New York headies- 3-1
John Hollinger returns to chase Ush- 5-2
Pat ever posts again- Allen Houston's contract-1
@ CHICAGO (+4)
The Pistons are obviously quality but it's not everyday that you catch a +4 on the Bulls, making for an intriguing play. Rip Hamilton and Chris "Recently Saved by Genetic Miracle" Webber are listed as day-to-day with the flu. The flu is not the same thing as a pulled tendon, but it does bear a raised eyebrow. I don't think it will have any real effect on the game, as will the ability of the Bulls to control the pace at home and make for a speedy game.
The killer in this one is turnovers. If the Bulls can limit the loss of posessions they will take the game. If they don't, there could be a long night of a short, intense coach not named Van Gundy eating his team alive.
Detroit is a stronger team because they take care of the rock. They are fifth lowest in turnovers and third highest in turnovers caused to their reputation while the Bulls are fifteenth in the league as far as giving up the rock... and tied with Detroit and Denver for third in forcing other people to throw it away.
Wouldn't it be something if they just started slapping the ball away from one another?
Reason I may be kicking my self in the ass for this pick: Kirk Hinrich has LOTS of problems passing over the Detroit backcourt.
MEMPHIS (+7 1/2)
I'm picking the Grizz for several key reasons:
1) I'm a masochist who prefers the keyboard to the razor.
2) Ime Udoka is listed day-to-day with a concussion.
3) The line is outrageous. I don't care how bad a team is. In a matchup between two sickly looking franchises that have sights trained entirely on the future and none on the present, you can't help but think it's going to be one of those sloppy, close contests that makes you almost hate the NBA before shrugging because you'll take any basketball that isn't a blowout.
On the other hand, Mike Miller and Damon Stoudemire are both day-to-day with tendinitis and Chucky Atkins is as well; he missed Tuesday's game with a pulled groin.
I know, I know. You're wondering how Chucky Atkins could be important. In reality, he isn't. He's a backup point guard getting set to be replaced after he spends some time filling space and earning bucks for the worst team in the league. In context of the Memphis Grizzles, Chucky Atkins means little more than a push in payroll. However, in context of whether or not the Grizz lose by seven or less tonight, he matters very much. Stoudemire and Atkins are the only ones with any semblance of running the ball. A team can't win with Dribble McPass at point guard.
@ Golden State
Sorry again, Ush. I'm not crazy enough to bet against the Suns on a number under six these days. This game is going to be speedy as hell and probably fun to watch during runs, but I just don't see anyone grabbing hold of Steve Nash and I don't see Golden State keeping pace with anyone in any of the head-to-head matchups. Amare Stoudemire eats NBA players for dinner everywhere he goes, regardless of opposition.
Both teams have items at stake. The Warriors are 1 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and the Suns want to stay ahead of the Spurs until the season closes out so they can hold a little extra weaponry in the playoff basket when it comes to home-court seeding.
Stat Note: The Suns have lost three times this month.
Cautionary Warning: The Warriors only lost by three the last time these two teams played in Golden State.
Season Record: 7-11. I'm a REAL expert.
Ed Note: 10:57 Central Time Zone
The Suns are running like I thought they would and Amare Stoudemire is 11-7 at the half... but they're down 77-63 at half-time in a track meet. Given the gravity of these types of games, the Suns can still come back to win. It is, however, highly unlikely. Jason Richardson has 26 points on 10 of 14 from the floor and Steven Jackson has 20.
Steve Nash has not been the beast I pointed him out to be on this particular night, but it's early.
Raise your hand if you bet with a sure heart and head that Steve Nash doesn't lead the chage for a comeback.