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This week's NBA situational bets

This week's NBA situational bets

This week's NBA situational bets

April is a bad time of year for those who suffer from bettors with A.D.D. The boys of summer, college hoops and action at the Masters leaves numerous options to spend next week’s paycheck.

I’ll stick with what I know best: the Association.

Tuesday, April 8

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

It took some time, but it seems as though the Hawks’ Mike Bibby is finally meshing with his new teammates. The former King has developed the type of chemistry with shooting guard Joe Johnson that would make Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo jealous.

Atlanta’s go-to play isolates the 6-foot-7 Johnson on the low block with Bibby hovering around the three-point line. Johnson either abuses his smaller defender or passes out of the double team to a wide-open Bibby.

Don’t be fooled by Indiana’s recent surge. The Pacers have taken advantage of a soft part of their schedule, but they won’t be able to slow down the up-and-coming Hawks.

Wednesday, April 9

Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were mercifully given a three-day break to lick their wounds after dropping matches to the Nets, Bobcats and Hawks. Toronto has covered the number in just two of its last eight contests and (even more astounding) five of its last 21.

The downward spiral coincides almost perfectly with T.J. Ford’s return to the lineup. There’s no questioning Ford’s talent and shot-making ability, but he refuses to let the game come to him. Watching the former Longhorn force shot after shot is more painful than sitting through a K.D. Lang concert.

The long break gives coach Sam Mitchell enough time to look at the film and adjust. Expect more minutes from backup point guard Jose Calderon and the Raptors to end their three-game skid.

Thursday, April 10

Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

The folks at TNT should be doing backflips with their final double-header of the regular season. The Nuggets-Warriors game most likely will determine the final playoff spot in the West and both sides exceed at filling the hoop.

Most coaches would preach never-give-up hustle and suffocating defense in this do-or-die moment, but then again George Karl and Don Nelson aren’t like most coaches. Both bench bosses will take the Sinatra route and do it their way.

That means buckets and lots of them.

Nelson seems content using a six-man rotation but the strategy could lead to an abundance of uncontested shots late in the game because of tired legs. The Warriors are due for a huge offensive output after shooting a combined 7-for-45 (16 percent) from behind the arc against Dallas and New Orleans last week.

Unless the total is set above 250, go ahead and take the over.

Friday, April 11

New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers

It seems like most sports writers will allow the standings to dictate their selection for this season’s MVP. If Chris Paul’s Hornets hold onto the top seed in the West he should be a lock for the hardware.

The Lakers would love to put a dent in CP3’s case for the top individual honor, especially with their own candidate (Kobe Bryant) knocking on the door. While Los Angeles has motivation the purple and gold may not have enough energy to keep up with the fast-paced Hornets.

Friday’s game will be the Lakers’ third in four nights and Phil Jackson’s top priority should be keeping his fragile big men (Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom) healthy for the second season.

New Orleans leaves the Staples Center with another win under its belt and Paul in the driver’s seat in the chase for the MVP award. 

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