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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

NBA Picks October 2013

Is it really time for a new NBA season? Time really has crept up on me, but the coming Halloween season is usually the indication that the basketball is ready to tip off all over again.

It is a big year for the Miami Heat who are looking for a three-peat following their Game 7 win over the San Antonio Spurs in June, but the Eastern Conference is loaded with potential rivals and even getting to the NBA Finals is going to be a big test for the Heat.

The Heat certainly still look the team to beat, but the Indiana Pacers have improved in the off-season and will remember how close they came to beating the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets are improved and will go close, while the New York Knicks may have lost ground in this Conference.

How the Heat play may have a lot to do with whether LeBron James opts out of his contract at the end of the season and the Decision part 2 gets to be played out in the off-season... That storyline is likely to remain at the forefront of the NBA throughout the season, especially if Dwyane Wade struggles as he did in the Play Offs last season.

The Western Conference also looks strange with the LA Lakers not looking in a position to be competitive for an appearance in the NBA Finals- at the moment, the LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs look the teams to beat in the West, although injuries can quickly change things as they did for the Thunder when they lost Russell Westbrook in the Play Offs last season.

Whatever happens, this should be another fascinating nine months on the long and winding road to the NBA Finals.

Picks from October games will all be placed in this thread and I will then have new threads for each month going forward. The last two seasons have produced winning records for the picks, but things can quickly change in the NBA and hopefully I have stayed on top as much as possible.

October 29th
Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers Pick: The Indiana Pacers won't generate the same kind of media coverage as the big market teams in the NBA, but they have built a roster that is going to go very close to winning it all this season.

They have made good moves in Free Agency by picking up players that can spread the floor and hit three pointers in Chris Copeland and CJ Watson, while the imminent return of Danny Granger will give them more scoring options.

Indiana could do with a little bit more scoring, especially when they come across the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but they remain amongst the best defensive teams in the NBA.

It should be a tough game for Orlando to get going against Indiana, although the Magic should be more competitive this season. The problem is they are going against such a tough defense that I am not sure how they can score enough points to keep up with the Pacers in this one.

The Pacers have dominated recent games against Orlando and I like them to cover this one.

LA Clippers @ LA Lakers Pick: There was a definite shift in strength between these teams last seaosn and the off-season moves seem to have backed up the LA Clippers as being the team to beat in Los Angeles this season too.

Of course, the Clippers want to achieve more than underline their position as the dominant team in this big market City, and that means having a deep Play Off run. Bringing in Doc Rivers will help the team as he has the authority of winning a Championship as a Head Coach and the Clippers do look good.

I am expecting them to make a positive start to the new season against a LA Lakers team that is missing Kobe Bryant. With Steve Nash being a little hobbled, I would expect Chris Paul to dominate this game as he did in the four games last year and I do think the Clippers can make a statement to the rest of the NBA in this one.

It isn't the surprise it would have been a couple of years ago, but the Clippers should open the season with a win and a cover of the biggest spread they would have seen against the Lakers in a long time.

October 30th
It wasn't a great start to the season for the picks, although being moosed in the first game of the season truly sucks.

Milwaukee Bucks @ New York Knicks Pick: There are some doubts surrounding the New York Knicks this season, especially after Carmelo Anthony suggested he will opt out of his contract to test the market in the next off-season. However, this is still a roster that will be looking to compete with the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference title, even if they do look short of the very best in the Conference.

They should get off to a good start in the refurbished Madison Square Garden against a Milwaukee Bucks team that has changed a lot from last season. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have moved on, and injuries are affecting the Bucks heading into the opening game of the season.

New York have dominated the recent games in the series and I think it will be tough for the Bucks to keep up with their limited roster in this game.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz Pick: Russell Westbrook is still not back for the Oklahoma City Thunder, although his return looks ahead of schedule, but that shouldn't stop the Thunder from winning their opening game of the season.

I know playing in Utah is always tough, but this is a young Jazz team that is going through a transition and the Thunder still have Kevin Durant who is capable of blowing open any game. I don't believe the Jazz have the defensive quality to slow down Durant and this Offense and that should prove to be too much pressure for their own Offense to keep up.

The Thunder have won 4 of their last 6 at Utah, including on their most recent visit, and I like them to cover.

MY PICKS: 29/10 Indiana Pacers - 12 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
29/10 LA Clippers - 8.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
30/10 New York Knicks - 8 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
30/10 Oklahoma City Thunder - 6 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)

October 2013: 0-4, - 4 Units

Final Season 2013105-93-3, + 10.49 Units
Final Season 201279-53-1, + 27.48 Units

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