NBA Picks 1/12/22
It was a tough slate yesterday that resulted in a brutal 0-3 day. Cade Cunningham and the Pistons were blown out 133-87. Cunningham went 3-11 and scored only 8 points. The Warriors and Grizzlies played a fun game in which each team went on multiple runs but it was the Grizzlies that made more winning plays down the stretch. Draymond Green’s absence was felt on the defensive end and the Warrior’s recent shooting struggles continued. Lastly, the Timberwolves came out flat and lost a game they thought they would win with ease. Karl Anthony-Towns said as much and admitted the team did not play with the type of intensity and effort needed. The loss dropped them to 20-21 and put an end to their recent hot streak. Now, any true gambler knows the only way to rebound from a tough night is to double down the next day. Let’s examine tonight’s 9 game slate for the NBA Picks 1/12/22.
Dallas Mavericks(-2.5) at NY Knicks(+2.5) 7:40 p.m EST
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks are thriving but not in the way many expected. Sure, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Reggie Bullock are shooting better, but it’s their defense that has carried them. In previous seasons, the Mavericks lived and died by the three-point shot. You could look at their box score and tell whether they won the game or not by the percentage they shot from 3. That is no longer the case. Their defense is keeping them in games despite their shooters being in a season-long slump and allowing Luka to take over in the 4th. If the Mavericks can successfully defend Julius Randle without fouling, they should be able to cover tonight. RJ Barrett and Alec Burks will have to catch fire from deep to keep the Knicks in it late.
Pick: Dallas Mavericks -2.5 (-110 via DraftKings)
Boston Celtics(-2.5) at Indiana Pacers(+2.5) 7:10 p.m EST
In the inaugural version of this column, we took the Pacers to cover 6.5 points. The game went to overtime and the Pacers covered in a close loss. After suffering through 4.5 quarters of anesthetically pleasing basketball, it was clear the Celtics are the better team. The Pacers were fortunate to cover and it took costly mistakes by the Celtics to keep Indiana in the game. With the line at -2.5, the safe bet is to take Boston on the road against a Pacer team without key players. We’re all rooting for Lance Stephenson but until Malcolm Brogdon returns, Indiana has to fight and claw for every basket.
Pick: Boston Celtics -2.5 (-110 via DraftKings)
Houston Rockets(+6.5) at San Antonio Spurs(-6.5) 8:40 p.m EST
The Rockets are an unserious basketball team at this time. They play like a team of G-Leaguers hoping to get a shot at a call-up. Offensively, they play a selfish style of basketball with minimal passes. It’s iso heavy and even when they decide to run plays, the players appear to be going through the motions. Players not involved in the primary action simply look uninterested. Defensively, it’s much worse. Rocket fans have been vocal about their displeasure with Christian Wood which has surprised some people. All it takes is watching Wood play defense for 5 minutes to sympathize with those fans. His decision to switch or stay with his man depends entirely on which one requires less effort. He is oftentimes a step and half late on weakside rotations and refuses to box out his man. As a veteran, he should be leading by example. Instead, he represents everything wrong with this current iteration of the Rockets. Houston is an easy fade until some of the malcontent players are shipped off.