GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS - 33-24 ATS...58%
NFL: 10-11 - NCAA: 13-6 - Teasers: 10-6 - NBA: 0-0
The Professional Hardwood is back Homeboys and ensures everyday we have an opportunity to increase our assets…or in some cases, force us to cash-in our 401K. While I received a plethora of fan-mail about not providing a Bulls preview, in addition to not making any NBA ATS plays, last night I scouted without a rooting interest to warm-up for tonight. While my NBA/Bulls Preview will be out until tomorrow, I do have a lil something for ya on yesterday’s contest…Scottie Skiles is in for a long-azz season! He actually played Luke “Skiles preaches D, but I can’t play D” Ridnour, Malik Allen, Luc Mbah a NoShot, Tyronn Lue, Charlie “One-knee” Bell, and Dan Gadzuric for 128 minutes last night! As for the Bullies, while I loved Vinny Del Baio’s rotation, believe Derrick Rose is the most explosive PG ever to hit the Association, and can’t get ova the depth of their roster, I have a feeling this season might only provide highlights and excitement for the future…but maybe that’s exactly what we need. With that, let’s hit-up three plays to open Greggy G’s NBA 2008 Spectacular:
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (-6) @ GOLDEN ST. WARRIORS
The fun-n-gun of Nellie’s show just doesn’t have the same swagger with DeMarcus Nelson & Marcus Williams replacing Baron Davis at the point and Monta MoPed unavailable to race down the sideline. Throw-in the unlikely probability of a third consecutive year of S-Jax actually behaving, especially since he’s playing the disrespect-card on the lack of a contract extension, and reports Al Harrington has gone to management claiming in no-longer can play for Coach Nelson, and I bet Nelson quits before the seasons ova. Especially with the depth of talent in the West, trust me, this season will be complete and utter disaster unless you have a couple Warriors on your fantasy squad.
On the Hornets side...(KEEP READING)
On the Hornets side, considering Byron’s youngsters were the best team in the league for most of the year and are only getting better, I’d honestly be shocked if CP3 & Co. don’t have a double-digit lead by the end of the 1st. With just about everybody back and the addition of the Posenator (James Posey for those not in the know), New Orleans is geared-up for a title run and will want to send a message on their opening night. While Chris Paul should have a field day against Golden St’s NBDL point guards, the biggest match-up problem for the PF-less Caly kids will be stopping David West’s inside-out game. So put the Asians & midgets to bed early and enjoy some late night NBA TV…and don’t forget to think of Greggy G when Peja knocks down another wide-open 3…Hornets by 12-17 points
MIAMI HEAT (+3) @ NEW YORK KNICKS
I know it’s been beaten like a red-headed step-child, but D-Wade looks like a man possessed to prove he’s the best player on the planet again. And what a smart decision to shut Wade down early last year and let his body fully recover, not to mention it also aided GM LA Looks ping-pong balls for the draft. While I agree The Bease can act like a douche-bag some of the time, I don’t think people understand how unstoppable he is offensively…and let’s forget about his bulging bag of low-post tricks, unassuming strength, and ability to score with either hand. In today’s pick-n-pop world, his quick release feathery J is going to absolutely destroy teams. Throw-in the combo of Marion & Haslem doing the dirty work on the glass and for loose balls, and the Heat could be the sleeper in the East.
As for the opening of the D’Antoni Era in Gotham, while I’m on his bandwagon and believe he’s already one of the great ones, don’t you think subbing Chris Duhon for Steve Nash might be a little challenging? Seriously, the roster is still a mess, he has Starbury & Eddy Cheeseburger sulking on the bench, and his only scoring option, Baby-fat Zach, was a head-case before he was shopped around all summer. Just like at Michigan were Rich Rodriguez knows he has mulligan and is developing the youngsters, D’Antoni will be experimenting with what he has and probably even exploiting what he doesn’t want so Donnie Walsh gets the picture. As a result, I’m predicting the Knickerbockers struggle mightily till after the Weed & Groupie Party (aka NBA All-Star Weekend), not to mention tonight…Heat by 6-11 points
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES @ HOUSTON ROCKETS (-11)
I absolutely love the Ron-Ron trade and believe Scola & Landry might be the best PF-combo to play alongside superstars in the NBA. Considering both were phenomenal during their rookie campaigns and are complete gym-rats, my guess is we see even more consistency and production from the duo. And trust me, while everybody else blows-off the Rockets because eventually T-Mac or Yao will be injured, they truly believe they can win the title this year and will be out to prove it from day 1. As for the belief they still need a PG, after some embarrassing off the court issues and looking to improve on last year’s shooting slump from deep, I expect we see a focused and efficient Skip-to-my-Lou this season. As for the Grizz, the already young squad will be starting two more rookies tonight (Mayo & the otha Gasol) and still don’t have anybody down-low that should be starting in the NBA. While they have some intriguing and talented pieces, I have a feeling this is going to be a long-azz year for an organization that knows they won't be competitive till at least 2011. Back to tonight, with title aspirations and a riled-up home-crowd, look for the Rockets to come-out with a playoff type of intensity…Rockets by 16-21 points