Here are some of my hoops picks from around the NCAA and NBA tonight. ESPN is currently doing a showing of 24 hours straight college basketball, check it out!
Temple Owls (+9) @ Georgetown Hoyas (4:00pm ET): Everyone loves the Hoyas this year, and they are a bit older, but they basically return the same starting 5 that disappointed in the entire second half of the season last year, aside from DeJuan Summers (drafted in the 1st Round by Detroit). Big man Greg Monroe is a stud, does lots of things well, but outside of him and Chris Wright I’m not sold on the Hoyas. Temple plays a lot of close games, they’re a tough defensive team, and they have a lot of players back this time around. They lost stud guard Dionte Christmas, but without him they move the ball better, and should get a more well rounded box score. I like them to cover here.
Gonzaga Bulldogs @ Michigan State Spartans (-11) (8:00pm ET): I actually think Gonzaga is getting a little bit too much for their name here. They are solid, and might find themselves an NCAA tournament bid, but this team lost a ton with graduation a year ago. Matt Bouldin is a great college basketball player, he certainly can do it all, and the Bulldogs have some good young kids that will step in and play well as the season progresses. But this Spartans team is dominate, they basically lost a guy from last years’ super deep team that finished runner up for the NCAA Championship. They are great. They should easily win by double digits here.
Oklahoma Thunder @ Miami Heat (-5): When the Thunder start playing better defense, they might get over the hump, but the Heat’s Haslem and O’Neal should dominate in the post tonight, and while Durant is a stud, I’ll take Wade in this one.
L.A. Clippers (+2) @ New Orleans Hornets: If you can point out where the Hornets will be better than the Clippers tonight, I’ll happily change my pick. Point guard? Nope, that Chris Paul fellow is out. Shooting guard? Not if Eric Gordon plays. Up front? As ugly as his gooey face is, I’m pretty sure Chris Kaman is a more capable scorer than 62 million dollar man, Emeka Okafor. Peja Stojakovic used to be good, but right now I’d even take Al Thorton. Al should use Peja when the Clips have the ball. Okay, I’ll give you David West, might score 25 tonight, but Marcus Camby is twice as good defensively. 25 shouldn’t be enough for the Hornets.
Chicago Bulls (+1) @ Sacramento Kings: I know Sac Town has won their last 4, but that just means their due. The Bulls are pretty solid up front, especially rebounding the basketball, and that’s what Sacremento needs as an advantage to win basketball games. Look at who they’ve beaten in their four games, Utah, Golden State, Oklahoma, and Houston – none of those teams have good defensive posts/rebounders. Well, I hate to say it, but Noah can D up opposing posts and will almost always out-rebound them. Taj Gibson has been playing well, and Brad Miller off the bench should have something for his old team. I like Chicago to get the win to open their road trip.