On Thursday, there are a handful of games on the basketball television schedule that we have circled that should be good ones. Check out our NBA picks for Thursday!
NBA Matchup: Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks
Date: Thursday, January 5th, 8:00 ET
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
NBA TV Schedule: TNT
The Hawks were able to knock off the Heat the first time around when these two teams played in South Beach on Monday night. Immediately, there has to be the thought that Miami is going to bounce back and avenge its only loss of the season. However, we aren’t all that sure. These two teams really look like mirror images of each other. They both rely on a handful of players and aren’t all that deep, and they are both getting good contributions from some of the younger players on the team. Defensively, the Hawks are the best team in the NBA, and we just don’t see how that is going to change, even with the best scoring team in the league coming to town. We tend to think, just like how the Boston Celtics had Miami’s number at the outset of the season, that the Hawks are going to pull off yet another upset and get out of this tough stretch of games with another victory.
NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks +3.5
NBA Matchup: Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers
Date: Thursday, January 5th, 10:30 ET
Location: Rose Garden, Portland, OR
NBA TV Schedule: TNT
When you take a look at the Blazers this year, you see a team that really is awfully talented. We can only imagine how good these guys would be had Brandon Roy’s knees not given out on him and had Greg Oden truly panned out to be a star of a big man. The Lakers are the Lakers. They think that they’re a lot better than they really are, and they are one of the most overrated teams in the league. Let’s go position by position. Throw out Kobe. We know that he is better than Wesley Matthews. But LaMarcus Aldridge is better than Andrew Bynum, Raymond Felton is worlds better than Derek Fisher, Gerald Wallace is every bit as good as Pau Gasol, and whereas the Lakers have a bunch of other stiffs on the team, the Blazers still have Nicolas Batum, Jamal Crawford, and the combination of Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby in the post. Now add in home court advantage? The choice in this one is easy. We think that Portland is going to make a huge statement by not just beating the Lakers, but blowing them out of the Rose Garden on Thursday night.
NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -3.5