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Hawks, Pelicans Among The Best Bets For Friday’s NBA Slate

Posted by on 12/3/2015 11:44:13 PM

For as much as LeBron James has tried to push a sense of urgency following every one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ losses the reality is that nobody on the planet disagrees with the notion that they are the favorite in the Eastern Conference right now. Only three games separates first from ninth in the East right now but there is still a lot of basketball left to play and the Cavaliers are right where everybody expected them to be heading in to an intriguing matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans. Here is a look at the best bets for Friday night in the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Atlanta Hawks

Friday, 8:00 PM ET

The Hawks have lost seven of their last 10 games to fall 2.5 games back of Cleveland in the Eastern Conference and while they haven’t played with the sense of urgency their fans and coaches would probably like to see they did put together a pair of impressive wins over the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies that really stood out. Atlanta has the potential to challenge for the top seed in its conference but it needs to approach each game with a greater sense of urgency in order to keep up wit hthe Cavaliers. Kobe Bryant farewell tour already includes giving the Philadelphia 76ers their first win of the season the other night so the Hawks should be a lock at home in this one.

Pick: Lakers

Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks

Friday, 8:30 PM ET

The Mavericks have fought hard to remain in the playoff picture in the loaded Western Conference despite their offseason roster purge and it’s their compete level every single night that has helped them succeed early on. Houston hasn’t looked nearly as competitive and that lack of urgency is a big reason why they have lost 11 of their first 19 games. The Rockets can only blame themselves for their slow start as their absolutely loaded roster hasn’t been able to gel together early on. Houston is just 5-7 on its own home floor this season so don’t be shocked if the Mavericks steal one on the road on Friday night.

Pick: Mavericks

Cleveland Cavaliers @ New Orleans Pelicans

Friday, 9:30 PM ET

New Orleans has no choice but to play with a strong sense of urgency following a terrible start to the year in which they were ravaged by injuries but it hasn’t gotten any easier for them as they have started to get healthy bodies back in the lineup. The Pelicans have lost four straight but their schedule hasn’t exactly been kind to them and they are back home for just the second time in five games on Friday night. The Cavaliers have played some good basketball early on but LeBron was right about the team’s lack of urgency at times and that could creep up on them again in New Orleans. The Pelicans will approach this game with a sense of desperation as they fight to get their season on track so look for them to grind and find a way to win this game in front of their home fans.

Pick: Pelicans


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