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  • Dec
    18

    (Today’s installment of your faithful reporter’s quest to prognosticate all 1,230 NBA regular-season games this season.)

    Spurs (15-9) at Magic (19-6), 5:05 p.m.
    Pick: Magic -3

    If things keep up the way they are, this’ll be the first season in many years where an Eastern Conference team is wishing it were in the West (because you know Orlando would rather be the No. 2 seed in the West than No. 3 back East, where they’d have to get past Cleveland).

    Suns (15-10) at Trail Blazers (16-10), 7:35 p.m.
    Pick: Suns +4.5

    One last kick from the old guard.

    Yesterday: 6-3
    Season record: 183-185-6

    – Geoff

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  • Dec
    17

    (Today’s installment of your faithful reporter’s quest to prognosticate all 1,230 NBA regular-season games this season.)

    Warriors (7-18) at Pacers (8-16), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Warriors +6

    The Pacers are only 4-8 when scoring 100 or more points. Finally, a team that plays right into the Warriors’ hands.

    Celtics (23-2) at Hawks (15-9), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Celtics -4

    Hawks forward Marvin Williams, as quoted in the Boston Globe: “It might be impossible not to get too hyped up for this game. We played them as well as we ever played them in Boston earlier this year. Now we come back here. They’re playing well and we’re playing well at home. Something’s got to give.”

    You’re right. Shove on over, young’un.

    Bucks (11-15) at 76ers (10-14), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: 76ers -3.5

    Home against Washington. Three days off. Home against Milwaukee. Day off. At Washington. Home against Indiana. Could Tony DiLeo have drawn up a better schedule to start off his NBA career?

    Mavericks (13-10) at Raptors (10-14), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Mavericks -2.5

    There’s a fantastic piece by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, one of the most solid reporters in this business, that explodes some of the small-man myths regarding Mavs guard J.J. Barea.

    Wizards (4-18) at Pistons (13-9), 4:35 p.m.
    Pick: Pistons -10

    After three games, I’ve decided that I love the Pistons’ new look as “Small Ball Midwest.” Now, if only Michael Curry would return any of my messages regarding Detroit’s pace of play…

    Jazz (15-11) at Nets (12-11), 4:35 p.m.
    Pick: Jazz -2.5

    I’m thinking Carlos Boozer’s absence might not hurt so much when it’s Yi Jianlian trying to take advantage of it.

    Cavaliers (20-4) at Timberwolves (4-20), 5:05 p.m.
    Pick: Cavaliers -10.5

    At the bottom of the St. Paul Pioneer Press story outlining Kevin McHale’s tin-foil-hat theory that blogs are responsible for the rash of coaching terminations around the league, there was this gem of a quote from Ryan Gomes on what the Timberwolves will do for a defensive stopper in the wake of Corey Brewer’s ACL injury: “Me, Rashad (McCants), Mike (Miller), we’re going to have to split up the time on guarding some of these prolific players.”

    Mike Miller. Rashad McCants. Defensive stoppers? Are we sure this wasn’t a Candid Camera put-on or something?

    Clippers (7-17) at Bulls (11-13), 5:35 p.m.
    Pick: Bulls -3

    Eric Gordon’s jumper almost makes the Clippers worth watching. Not worth betting on, but worth watching.

    Spurs (15-8) at Hornets (14-7), 6:35 p.m.
    Pick: Spurs +2

    This is one of those games I ordinarily wouldn’t think of putting money on,…

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  • Dec
    16

    (Today’s installment of your faithful reporter’s quest to prognosticate all 1,230 NBA regular-season games this season.)

    Bulls (11-12) at Bobcats (7-18), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Bulls -3

    Which senior-citizen coach is crankier right about now: Don Nelson, or Larry Brown? Maybe we should run an experiment, put them on a front porch somewhere with a pair of rocking chairs and canes so they can yell, “Damn you kids!” at the top of their lungs, then go back to their stogies and scotch.

    Clippers (6-17) at Thunder (2-23), 5:05 p.m.
    Pick: Clippers -5

    The Clippers, as currently constituted, would make a much better fantasy team than a real-life one.

    Hornets (13-7) at Grizzlies (9-15), 5:05 p.m.
    Pick: Grizzlies +7

    A couple decades from now, I think people are going to talk about the Darko Milicic experience – the Euro championships ref tirade, the shirt-ripping incident, the blogs inspired by his mere existence – in the same way folks used to trade stories of ABA legends such as Fly Williams or Warren Jabali.

    Nuggets (17-7) at Rockets (15-9), 5:35 p.m.
    Pick: Nuggets +3

    In truth, Linas Kleiza’s performance isn’t any worse than his first two seasons. It just looks worse because he was so much better last year.

    Kings (7-18) at Trail Blazers (15-10), 7:05 p.m.
    Pick: Trail Blazers -12

    Gotta love it when the long knives come out after the fact. Brad Miller on the Kings’ coaching change from Reggie Theus to Kenny Natt: “(Natt) is a heck of a coach, so I’m looking forward to a lot more accountability from everybody.”

    Knicks (11-13) at Lakers (20-3), 7:35 p.m.
    Pick: Lakers -13.5

    Anyone ripe for a letdown after Mike D’Antoni’s return to Phoenix?

    Yesterday: 5-3-1
    Season record: 175-179-5

    – Geoff

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  • Dec
    15

    (Today’s installment of your faithful reporter’s quest to prognosticate all 1,230 NBA regular-season games this season.)

    Magic (18-6) at Warriors (7-17), 7:35 p.m.
    Pick: Magic -3.5

    If Dwight Howard is out, Stan Van Gundy really could prove he has a sense of humor by starting Adonal Foyle.

    Bobcats (7-17) at Hawks (14-9), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Hawks -9

    I missed this fantastic chip-on-my-shoulder quote from Mike Bibby after Atlanta toppled Cleveland the other night to stop the Cavaliers’ 11-game winning streak: “I didn’t come to watch LeBron James. I came to play.”

    Pacers (7-16) at Wizards (4-17), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Pacers +1

    As one unnamed Verzion Center denizen put it: “I didn’t come to watch Mike James. I came to drink.”

    Nets (11-11) at Raptors (10-13), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Nets +4.5

    This is one of those odd situations where the Nets, who played Saturday in Chicago, had Sunday off in Toronto — and therefore could do some live scouting against the Raptors, who were losing to New Orleans.

    Jazz (15-10) at Celtics (22-2), 4:35 p.m.
    Pick: Celtics -9.5

    The fact that Utah is still at .600 while having Boozer and Williams together for only two games either speaks to the Jazz’s resolute nature. Or the fact that the weak sisters of the NBA can’t take advantage of an elite team when it’s hurting. I’m not sure which.

    Bucks (10-15) at Heat (12-11), 4:35 p.m.
    Pick: Heat -3.5

    Logically, I should pick the Bucks since Miami’s completing a back-to-back and Milwaukee is rested. But that would be calling out Dwyane Wade as having no heart after that horrid loss in Memphis. And few people had made a living dismissing that aspect of Wade’s personality.

    Nuggets (16-7) at Mavericks (13-9), 5:35 p.m.
    Pick: Nuggets +1.5

    Another one of those games where I would take the line even if the plus and minus signs were reversed.

    Knicks (11-12) at Suns (14-10), 6:05 p.m.
    Pick: Knicks +8

    Reggie Theus? Just chalk up another coach killed by a bad loss to the Knicks.

    Timberwolves (4-19) at Kings (6-18), 7:05 p.m.
    Pick: Kings -4

    Hang Time! Wait, did I miss my cue?

    Yesterday: 3-1
    Season record: 170-176-4

    – Geoff

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  • Dec
    14

    (Today’s installment of your faithful reporter’s quest to prognosticate all 1,230 NBA regular-season games this season.)

    Hornets (12-7) at Raptors (10-12), 9:35 a.m.
    Pick: Hornets -2

    “Brunch with Jamario Moon” is not quite the same thing as “Breakfast at Wimbledon.”

    Heat (12-10) at Grizzlies (8-15), 1:05 p.m.
    Pick: Grizzlies +1.5

    It’s about time for Marc Gasol’s once-a-week breakout game that makes all 4,382 Grizzlies fans forget, at least momentarily, about his older brother’s fire-sale departure.

    Thunder (2-22) at Spurs (14-8), 4:05 p.m.
    Pick: Spurs -16.5

    I would be more interested in seeing OKC make a run for 9-73 than in watching the Celtics, Cavs or Lakers go for 72-10.

    Timberwolves (4-18) at Lakers (19-3), 6:35 p.m.
    Pick: Timberwolves +15.5

    The Lakers just aren’t running it up like they used to.

    Yesterday: 5-5
    Season record: 167-175-4

    – Geoff

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