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TheSpread.com NBA Picks and Predictions 2/12

TheSpread.com NBA Picks and Predictions 2/12

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Thursday, February 12.

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Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls, 7:05PM ET

Derrick Rose has done a lot for the Chicago Bulls as a rookie, but the Miami Heat found out the point guard still has a lot to learn when the teams met for the first time this season.

Seven weeks later, Rose has become an awfully quick study.

Rose has the Bulls playing their most consistent basketball of the season heading into the All-Star break, and on Thursday they'll look to win for the sixth time in eight games when they host the Heat.

Like Miami superstar Dwyane Wade, Rose grew up in Chicago, and with the No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft the Bulls (23-29) jumped at the chance to snap up the local product that led Memphis to the national championship game in his only collegiate season.

The Bulls' starting point guard since opening night, Rose has given the team an explosive presence in the backcourt, leading all rookies in assists (6.3 per game) and ranking second in points (16.9).

Yet, one of Rose's poorest performances came when Chicago visited Miami (27-24) on Dec. 26. Rose went 3-of-14 from the floor, finishing with 10 points, three assists and five turnovers as the Heat rolled to a 90-77 win.

NBA Free Pick: OVER – Best Line: O/U 195.5 Sports Interaction

Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks, 9:35PM ET

The Boston Celtics will be well represented in the All-Star game, as Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are all scheduled to play for the Eastern Conference.

The "Big Three" certainly play like All-Stars against the Dallas Mavericks.

Before entering the break, the East-leading Celtics look to sweep their second straight season series from the Mavericks when the teams meet in Dallas on Thursday night.

Boston (43-11), in the midst of a stretch of games against Western Conference powers, came away with an impressive 89-77 victory at New Orleans on Wednesday.

Pierce scored a game-high 30 points and the Celtics pulled away late, outscoring the Hornets 25-13 in the final period.

That was encouraging for Boston, which squandered fourth-quarter leads in two games last week - a 105-99 home defeat to Southwest Division-leading San Antonio on Sunday, and a 110-109 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers three nights earlier.

NBA Free Pick: Boston – Best Line: -4 Sports Interaction

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors, 10:35PM ET

Greg Oden may not be participating in this weekend's All-Star game, but the Portland Trail Blazers are starting to see why they made him the top overall pick of the draft two years ago.

In their final game before the break, Oden looks to continue his solid play and help the Blazers win their third straight game on Thursday night when they visit the Golden State Warriors, who have not lost at home to Portland in more than four years.

After finishing in 10th place in the West in 2007-08, Portland (32-19) has the fourth-best record in the conference this season.

Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in 2007, sat out last season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee but has been a big part of the Blazers' turnaround. He had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in Wednesday's 106-92 victory over Oklahoma City, after having 17 points, 12 boards and a career-high six blocks in Sunday's 109-108 win over New York.

NBA Free Pick: Golden State – Best Line: -3 Sports Interaction

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