ARE YOU FRICKIN’ KIDDING ME! With the Mavs up 32 points a few minutes into the 4th quarter, I actually put a W (win) in my notepad, slammed the last of my Templeton Rye Whiskey, and got my warm Houston Oilers Zubaz out of the dryer. Next thing I know, Dallas has got some 4-foot dude named Jose Juan “why are you in the frickin’ game” Barea and James Posey is making it rain from downtown like Pac-Man Jones in Vegas. Speaking of making it rain (which sounds like fun), I’ve got a Bachelor party this weekend and I was hoping to do just that at the local entertainment club…unfortunately, after the Mavs made me consider pulling a Corey Dillon from this profession, I’m going to have to Make it Rain with 8 M*tha F*ckin Dollars! But no need to panic loyal compadres (all 9 of ya), I’m not retiring because I need money like Scottie Pippen and will be playing this game until my frickin’ wheels fall off…or until I have to sell my hub-caps! Check back all weekend, I’ll have some picks & pics and for ya and plenty of drunk banter.
DETROIT PISONTS (-2.5) @ ORLANDO MAGIC
The Magic have looked awful since the All-Star break and Grant Hill is looking slower by the minute since he’s come back from injury. As for Pistons, they seem to have found their 2004 groove and understand how important a dominating mindset can be when heading into the playoffs. Dwight Howard is a frickin’ beast in the middle, but that’s all Orlando has by sides some nice swimsuit eye-candy. The Pistons actually beat the Magic by 22 on Wednesday night and watching Hedo and Hill chase Tayshaun and Rip around was almost painful…Pistons by 6-12 points
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES @ PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (-4.5)
I know you’ve never seen the Blazers favored…let alone by 6, but McMillian’s young crew is coming off two big wins against the Jazz & Lakers and are quietly creeping into the playoff picture. Brandon Roy and Jarret Jack have been better than advertised when healthy, Zach Randolph has been consistent all year averaging 24 & 10, and LaMarcus Aldridge anchors a deep athletic bench. As for the Grizz, you have to think Gasol is furious he wasn’t traded at the deadline and it probably doesn’t help matters that he’s all the way out in Portland…Trailblazers by 10-12 points
INDIANA PACERS @ TORONTO RAPTORS (-5)
I got burned at home by the Raptors earlier this week, and I’m thinking it’s not going to happen again. Chris Bosh and his crew of European big-men have been extremely active at both ends and should have plenty of easy buckets as the Pacers frontcourt is still getting used to their rotations, while Ford & Calderon should find penetration easier than in the VIP room over All-Star weekend with the extremely over-rated Jamal Tinsley’s half-ass defense (and I frickin’ went to Iowa State). Speaking of Tinsley and his defense, he and Daniels (who has been solid lately) surrendered to police Thursday after proving to be card-carrying members of “I’ve got money and think I rule the world”! While they’ll probably play tonight, the charges are pretty severe and I have to believe they watched Judge Judy instead of Raptors film today…Raptors by 7-13 points.
PHOENIX SUNS (-6) @ MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Maybe this is out of spite, but the Timberwolves are the most disappointing and under-performing teams in the league. After getting crushed by an undermanned Wizards squad, the Wolves gave away a lead and lost to the Bobcats at home Wednesday. New coach Randy Wittman complained that his players were pouting on the court and could not fathom how his team only recorded 2 assists in the second half. Stoudemire and Marion should have a field day when matched with Mark “I move like a Brontosaurus” Blount, not to mention, Barbosa should have at least 10 lay-ups against the absent minded T-Wolves. The Suns should also be getting Boris Diaw back tonight and already have looked stronger with the return of veteran Kurt Thomas…Suns by 8-14 points
SACRAMENTO KINGS (TBD) @ NEW JERSEY NETS
Both teams are absolutely desperate for wins, and both had some pretty crazy trade rumors as the deadline passed yesterday. While Bibby was mentioned for the Kings, the Maloof brothers admitted they just couldn’t part with their favorite player of all-time. On the other side, Kidd was hoping to be moved to LA yesterday and Vince Carter was not clear if he’d make it through the day, but all the deals fell through and I have to think it will affect these guys tonight. I’m a little weary cause Sacramento played at Washington last night (lost by 3), but Artest should be crazier than normal matched-up with Vinsanity and Bibby is starting to find his stroke. Finally, it was just announced the Jason Kidd has a broken rib (questionable tonight) and played horrible on Wed. in his first action in over a week going 2-14 from the field. Especially if Mr. Joumana Kidd is out, this could be an ugly game for the Nets…TBD when Kidd playing status is determined
G. GAMBLE’S HOOP TOTALS- NBA 80-65 ATS ; NCAA 50-48 ATS