Even on the holidays there is always a sporting event going on that a bet can be placed on. Letâ€™s enjoy Christmas day with some NBA action and here are a few plays that caught my attention.
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks
2:30 PM ET
Opening Line: Miami -1 @5dimes
Current Line: Miami Heat -4.5
Miami Heat open up this shorten season with a road matchup against the Dallas Mavericks who knocked out the Heat in six games in last seasonâ€™s NBA finals.
Miami will enter this matchup with the big three still intact while adding a few pieces to their roster that should help this team contend for another shot at the title. LeBron James (26.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 7.0 APG) led the offense for the Heat last season while Dwayne Wade (25.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 4.6 APG) and Chris Bosh (18.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG) were the other main contributors to this offense.
Adding a strong supportive cast to help the big three was a priority to the Heat for the offseason. Miami moved up in the draft to grab the talented point guard Norris Cole out of Cleveland State who already has impressed the big three with his ability to pick up the offense and know where to get those guys the ball at for them to get comfortable shots. Miami also got veteran forward Shane Battier to bring his defensive talent to the squad along with big man Eddie Curry to take over the center role.
Dallas enters this contest as the defending NBA Champions but they have lost a few pieces to that Championship team from last season but have also added some veteran players to fill those roles.
The Dallas offense will be led by power forward Dirk Nowitzki (23.0 PPG, 7.0 RP) and point guard Jason Kidd (7.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 8.3 APG). Dallas is going to rely on the supporting cast around Dirk and Jason to put this team back in the NBA finals. Dallas went out and traded for veteran forward Lamar Odom while singing guard Delonte West and forward/guard Vince Carter. Back in the lineup for Dallas this season we will see veteran Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood and Jason Terry.
Dallas is the defending Champions and each night they step on the court there will be a bullâ€™s-eye on their back knowing that every team wants to knock the champion down. The bullâ€™s-eye though is exceptionally large considering the Heat want revenge from watching Dallas celebrate on Miamiâ€™s home floor at the end of the finals.
I like the moves that Miami made to get better this season by adding veteran guys to help this team out and I really like the draft pick of Norris Cole since he knows how to play the PG position and will take a lot of pressure off D-Wade and LeBron on getting the ball to people. Look for revenge to be bitter sweet as Miami opens up their season with a big win over the defending champs.
Chicago Bulls at L.A Lakers
5:00 PM ET
Opening Line: Miami +3 @5dimes
Current Line: Chicago -2
Chicago Bulls will head out on the road to take on the L.A Lakers in this Christmas day showdown of two teams that have intentions of challenging Miami and Dallas for their respected conferences.
Chicago enters this season with reigning MVP Derrick Rose (25.0 PPG, 7.7 APG) looking to lead this team back the conference finals again this season in hopes of different results. Joining Rose in this lineup this season is the same faces of Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson. Adding some veteran help to this team will be Richard Hamilton after coming over from the Pistons.
Chicago is going to look to their outstanding defense for success again this season. The Bulls last season ranked 2nd in points allowed (91.3), 1st in field goal % against (43%), 1st in three point % against (32.6%) and 1st in rebounds against (38.4).
The Lakers enter this season with a bit of drama following them. LA traded away the sixth man of the year (Lamar Odum), Andrew Bynum will be suspended for the first five games of the season due to the nasty foul on J.J. Barea in the playoffs last season, Kobe Bryant is going through a divorce and he has a torn ligament in his wrist which is making him questionable for this game.
LAâ€™s offense runs through Kobe Bryant and his 25.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 4.7 APG from last season. Pau Gasol is going to need to step up his game with Odum gone now and Bynum being out the first five games which could be tough for him considering his name was thrown around for numerous trades over the past few weeks in which the Lakers were trying to spark a deal to get Chris Paul or Dwight Howard.
There is a lot of drama with plenty of distractions going on in LA land right now which could be tough for this team to overcome. Bettors have made their stand on this game as we have seen the line go from LA -3 to Chicago -2. Plenty of money coming on the Bulls especially considering how much attention LA attracts from bettors. LA is in trouble this season and it starts against a very good Chicago team. I wonâ€™t say this much but lay the points against the Lakers at home and look for the Bulls to start the season on a positive note.
Chicago Bulls -2