MLB World Series Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers took game number one over the Houston Astroes. Twenty-four hours later and we are back at it again for game two of the World Series. Select your fantasy draft picks from the MLB World Series Cross Sports Game. Finish off your remaining selections with some NBA action. A total of four games to choose from. Check out the Astros versus Dodgers preview along with with the NBA games below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Hoston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Justin Verlander is 4-0 during his stellar postseason run and looks to continue the success when the Houston Astros visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday (8:09 p.m. ET on FOX). Verlander will aim to help Houston knot the series after Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner guided the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Kershaw allowed one run and three hits with 11 strikeouts over seven innings while Turner belted a tiebreaking two-run homer (his fourth of the postseason) in Tuesday’s victory.

Verlander was acquired from Detroit by the Astros to fortify their rotation, and now he’s a symbol of a franchise looking for its first World Series title in the wake of a damaging hurricane that ravaged Houston in August.

PITCHING MATCHUP

Astros RH Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-0, 3.00)

Verlander has a stellar 11-5 postseason record, but none of those victories occurred in the World Series, where he went 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three career starts for the Tigers. The 34-year-old’s arrival in Houston changed the complexion of the rotation, providing the team with a second ace alongside Dallas Keuchel as well as raising the stature of the organization.

Hill is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in six career postseason starts and is making his World Series debut. The 37-year-old is trying to keep the moment in perspective after his major-league career appeared to be finished in the summer of 2015, when he signed with the independent Long Island Ducks, but 26 of his 50 career regular-season victories have come since that stint.

San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat

The San Antonio Spurs have not yet needed MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who remains out while dealing with right quadriceps tendinopathy. The Spurs will try to stay undefeated when they kick off a four-game road trip by visiting the Miami Heat, who will be missing one of their stars as well, on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

San Antonio is relying more on LaMarcus Aldridge with Leonard out, and the veteran power forward is responding by averaging 24.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. Aldridge is also helping out on the defensive end and provided the highlight of Monday’s 101-97 win over the Raptors with a chase-down block of Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry as the Spurs held their third consecutive opponent under 100 points to start the season. Aldridge could have some extra room to work with down low on Wednesday with Heat center Hassan Whiteside expected to miss his third straight game with a bone bruise on his left knee.

Indiana Pacers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Paul George faces his former organization for the first time since his acrimonious departure when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on FSN Indiana & FSN Oklahoma). George was a four-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Pacers but requested a trade during the summer and now is teammates with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City. Indiana acquired guard Victor Oladipo and post player Domantas Sabonis in the deal, and the former is thriving with back-to-back 28-point efforts – including 11-of-16 shooting in Tuesday’s 130-107 rout of Minnesota. The Pacers will be without center Myles Turner (concussion/neck) for the fourth straight game.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks are the lone remaining winless team in the Western Conference and have the misfortune of going up against one of the few teams that remains undefeated when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home set (8:30 p.m. ET on FS Southeast (Memphis) & FS Southwest (Dallas)). The Mavericks are being outscored by an average of 14.3 points and were crushed 133-103 at home by the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Dallas, which travels to Memphis on Thursday for the start of a stretch with six of nine on the road, allowed 40 points in the first quarter and 68 in the second half on Monday. The Grizzlies showed off their defensive might by holding the explosive Houston Rockets to 14 fourth-quarter points in a 98-90 win on Monday and entered play Tuesday second in the NBA in opponent’s field-goal percentage at 39.6.

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Posted in MLB, NBA

Fantasy basketball player picks

Thursday NBA Rundown

Here is the NBA rundown. All of Thursday Fantasy Basketball matchups to get you ready for your cash drafts. Play at FanPicks now!

Phoenix Suns (22-49) vs Brooklyn Nets (14-56)

Phoenix is looking for encouraging performances from its young players and got one in Tuesday’s loss from rookie power forward Marquese Chriss, who scored 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting – 2-of-2 from 3-point range – and grabbed seven rebounds. Brook Lopez is the unquestioned leader of the Nets and is trying to keep his young teammates focused through the end of a lost season.

Toronto Raptors (42-29) vs Miami Heat (35-36)

Toronto point guard Cory Joseph scored 19 points on Tuesday. It’s his highest total since taking over the starting spot from Kyle Lowry (wrist) last month. Miami’s center Hassan Whiteside grabbed 14 rebounds in his last game to reach 936 on the season. He surpassed Rony Seikaly’s for franchise record of 934. Whiteside also scored 23 points before leaving late with a cut on his hand that required 13 stitches to close. If he’ll play against the Raptors remains to be seen.

Los Angeles Clippers (43-29) vs Dallas Mavericks (30-40)

The Clippers backcourt quartet of Chris Paul (27 points), J.J. Redick (24), Austin Rivers (18) and Jamal Crawford (15) set the tone for the rout of the Lakers on Tuesday by combining for 84 points and neither Paul nor Redick played in the fourth quarter. Players sitting out games has been a major topic around the NBA and Dallas has a player who has started all 70 games in small forward Harrison Barnes. He scored in single digits only four times all season but two have occurred in the past three games.

Memphis Grizzlies (40-31) vs San Antonio Spurs (54-16)

Memphis averaged 104.5 points during the four-game winning streak but had to tally 28 points in the final quarter against the Pelicans on Tuesday just to reach 82. The concern over the health of power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is dissipating after he scored 26 points against Minnesota on Tuesday.

New York Knicks (27-44) vs Portland Trailblazers (32-38)

New York’s power forward Kristaps Porzingis scored 31 points as the Knicks recorded a 107-103 home victory over the Trail Blazers on November 22. Standout point guard Damian Lillard is on a roll by scoring 25 or more points in a career-best seven straight games. Lillard is averaging a staggering 34.9 points during the stretch with five 30-point outings, topped by a 49-point splurge against the Miami Heat on Sunday.

Posted in NBA

Battle for Los Angeles

NBA Rundown

Here is the NBA rundown. All of Tuesday Fantasy Basketball matchups to get you ready for your cash drafts. Play at FanPicks now!

Chicago Bulls (33-37) vs Toronto Raptors (41-29)

Just when it seems like the Chicago Bulls are ready to pack it in and fall out of the postseason race completely, they pull off an impressive upset against a top-four team from the Western Conference. The Raptors are winners of back-to-back games and are putting themselves in a position to win with their work on the defensive end.

Detroit Pistons (34-36) vs Brooklyn Nets (13-56)

The Detroit Pistons are clinging to the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference and are hoping a win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday was what the team needed to shake out of an offensive malaise that resulted in a three-game slide last week. The Nets may be eliminated from postseason contention but will still put up a challenge against Detroit, just as they have in tight losses the last two games against Boston and Dallas.

Phoenix Suns (22-48) vs Miami Heat (34-36)

The Miami Heat used a tremendous surge to jump back into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference but are finding it more difficult to hang onto one of the top eight spots. hoenix lost its last four games and is leaving veterans like Tyson Chandler, Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight on the sidelines while the younger players try to prove they can be building blocks.

Memphis Grizzlies (40-30) vs New Orleans Pelicans (29-41)

The Memphis Grizzlies are part of a three-team competition for the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. They have won four consecutive games to put heat on the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder. New Orleans is playing well with four victories in its last five games.

Golden State Warriors (56-14) vs Dallas Mavericks (30-39)

Golden State endured a three-game losing skid prior to bouncing back with the winning streak and was sharp while rolling to a 111-95 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Dallas is opening a pivotal four-game homestand as it attempts to chase down the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

San Antonio Spurs (53-16) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (28-41)

The San Antonio Spurs own Minnesota and look to make it 11 straight victories in the series. San Antonio won this season’s previous three previous meetings by an average of 9.7 points behind the heroics of All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard.  The Timberwolves are sliding out of contention for the final playoff spot in the West after losing three straight road games.

Milwaukee Bucks (34-35) vs Portland Trail Blazers (32-37)

The Portland Trail Blazers and the Milwaukee Bucks are both trying to secure a spot in the top eight of their respective conferences, and both are facing some stiff competition. The Trail Blazers will go for their fourth straight win and try to close the gap on the eighth-place Denver Nuggets in the West.  The Bucks dropped to 2-2 on their six-game road trip.

Los Angeles Clippers (42-29) vs Los Angles Lakers (20-50)

The Los Angeles Clippers are closing in on the fourth-place Utah Jazz in the Western Conference playoff chase.  The Lakers have lost five straight games during their fourth consecutive 50-loss campaign as they limp to the finish line.

Posted in NBA

NBA Rundown

Wednesday Fantasy Basketball Previews

The NBA rundown examines Wednesday Fantasy Basketball matchups (Enter contest) to get you ready for your cash drafts.

Pacers vs Magic

The Indiana Pacers ripped off three wins in four days to close out last week and are starting to show improvement on the defensive end. They are aiming for a fourth straight victory.

Timberwolves vs Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers just finished off LeBron James’ first losing month since 2006 with a 7-8 January and are searching for answers after dropping a 104-97 decision at the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

Raptors vs Celtics

The teams enter February separated by a half-game in the East and within shouting distance of first-place Cleveland, but they aren’t necessarily trending in the same direction. The Celtics have the chance to achieve their first five-game winning streak of the season.

Knicks vs Nets

The New York Knicks hope to have star forward Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup. Porzingis (illness) was a late scratch prior to Tuesday’s 117-101 loss at Washington, joining guard Derrick Rose (ankle) among the sidelined New York starters.

Hawks vs Heat

The Atlanta Hawks caught a break in the schedule with a much-needed two days off after batting to a 142-139 victory over the New York Knicks in four overtimes on Sunday. The Miami Heat are the hottest team in the Eastern Conference having won their last eight games.

Pelicans vs Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are struggling to put together a 48-minute effort at both ends of the court. They have dropped three games in a row, including a 113-109 setback at Boston on Monday in which they allowed Isaiah Thomas to score 24 points in the fourth quarter.

76ers vs Mavericks

It no longer matters if star rookie Joel Embiid is in the lineup, the Philadelphia 76ers believe they can win no matter who is on the court. Embiid is dealing with a left knee contusion and is not expected to join the 76ers on their two-game road trip this week, which begins against the Dallas Mavericks.

Grizzlies vs Nuggets

Mike Conley is fresh off the highest-scoring game of his career and the point guard looks to post another stellar outing. He poured in a career-best 38 points as Memphis improved to 2-1 on its six-game road trip with a 115-96 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

Bucks vs Jazz

The Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz will both be trying to emerge out of their respective slumps when they meet in Salt Lake City. The Jazz followed up a six-game winning streak with losses in three of the last four games, including a 102-95 setback against Memphis on Saturday in the team’s sixth game in nine days.

Clippers vs Suns

The Carmelo Anthony trade rumors keep lurking around the Los Angeles Clippers and their recent swoon isn’t going to do anything to halt the speculation. The Clippers dropped four of their last five games. The latest loss was an embarrassing 144-98 beat down at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.

Bulls vs Thunder

The Chicago Bulls have experienced plenty of tension over the past few weeks and now will spend tons of time with one another on the road. All-Star Jimmy Butler and veteran Dwyane Wade scorched their teammates after one poor effort last week, only to have Rajon Rondo chastise the duo for a lack of leadership in an Instagram post.

Hornets vs Warriors

The Golden State Warriors hope to see All-Star point guard Stephen Curry back on the court versus the Charlotte Hornets. Curry is recovering from a bout with the stomach flu that caused him to miss Sunday’s game against Portland and he is listed as questionable to play against the Hornets.

Posted in NBA

NBA Rundown

Fantasy Basketball Monday Matchups

The NBA rundown examines Fantasy Basketball Monday matchups (Enter contest) to get you ready for your live drafts.

Kings vs 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers hope to have star center Joel Embiid back in the lineup for their matchup against the Sacramento Kings. It’s a game that was scheduled to take place on November 30th 2016, but failed to take place due to condensation on the floor at the Wells Fargo Center that was made for an unsafe environment. Now they set to play-out that confrontation and hopefully the rookie All-Star will suit-up. Embiid (knee) has missed four of the last five games including Sunday’s 121-108 loss in Chicago. He sneaked in a 32-point performance against Houston on Friday, and he didn’t make the trip to see his team fall to the Bulls.

Nets vs Heat

The Miami Heat are all of a sudden the hottest team in the NBA and are streaking up the standings in the Eastern Conference. The Heat will try to push their season-best winning streak to eight straight versus NBA-worst Brooklyn Nets.

Magic vs Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a great chance to continue their hot streak. Winners of seven of their last 10, the Timberwolves are approaching February with a legitimate shot at their first playoff berth since 2004, and Karl-Anthony Towns remains the biggest reason why.

Pistons vs Celtics

The Boston Celtics followed up a three-game slide with a three-game winning streak. The Pistons are trying to avoid their third straight loss after falling to the Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat in the last two contests.

Cavaliers vs Mavericks

The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be snapping out of a puzzling slump. They could go after their third consecutive victory against the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavaliers remained in control at the top of the Eastern Conference despite losing six of eight games earlier this month, but knocked off Oklahoma City 107-91 on Sunday with a solid effort on both ends of the floor.

Grizzlies vs Suns

The Memphis Grizzlies are having some trouble stringing together wins of late. The Grizzlies won consecutive games only once this month and have not taken three in a row since a six-game winning streak to open December.

Posted in NBA

NBA Rundown

Friday Fantasy Basketball Matchups

FanPicks.com has your NBA daily rundown to get you ready for live fantasy basketball matchups.

Kings vs Pacers

The Sacramento Kings are displaying signs of life during an eight-game road trip. They aim for a third consecutive victory in Indiana. Sacramento improved to 2-2 on the excursion with a stunning 116-112 overtime win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Nets vs Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to slump and dropped six of their last eight games. Cleveland lost its last three games and the latest setback was a dreadful 116-112 home overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Magic vs Celtics

The Boston Celtics avoided a four-game losing streak with one of their biggest wins of the season and will play nine of their next 12 games against teams that entered Thursday with a losing record. They snapped their three-game slide with a 120-109 home win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Bucks vs Raptors

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ meltdown over the last two weeks seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Toronto Raptors to jump up and claim the top spot into the Eastern Conference, but instead they’ve gone into a funk as well. The Raptors will try to snap a season-long five-game slide against Milwaukee Bucks.

Hornets vs Knicks

The New York Knicks are apparently intent on getting star forward Carmelo Anthony out of town, though he seems to be the least of their problems at the moment. They’ve won 4 of their last 18 games.

Heat vs Bulls

Dwyane Wade’s old team is visiting just as his new team seems to be coming apart.

Spurs vs Pelicans

The San Antonio Spurs hope to have star small forward Kawhi Leonard back Friday night. Leonard missed the past two games with a left hand injury after a tremendous roll in which he scored 30 or more points in six consecutive contests.

Wizards vs Hawks

The Washington Wizards are quietly making a steady climb up the standings in the Eastern Conference and are winners of nine of their last 11 games.

Rockets vs 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers are expecting star center Joel Embiid(knee) to return to the lineup. The center missed three games in a row but the surging 76ers are proving they can survive without his emerging talents, knocking off the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks in a back-to-back earlier this week.

Grizzlies vs Trail Blazers

Memphis center Marc Gasol is on a tear and he aims to top 20 points for the sixth consecutive game. He established career bests of 42 points and five 3-pointers in Wednesday’s 101-99 over the Toronto Raptors.

Posted in NBA

NBA Rundown

Wednesday Fantasy Basketball

FanPicks.com has an NBA  rundown to get you ready for live fantasy basketball contests.

Kings vs Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers are mired in a funk and LeBron James is getting mighty antsy about it. Cleveland dropped five of its last seven games, including Monday’s 124-122 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Rockets vs Celtics

The Rockets have been exchanging wins and losses for the past seven games (3-4) and five of the results have been decided by at least 13 points.

Heat vs Nets

The Miami Heat picked up a signature win and found a third star to compliment Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside in a 105-102 triumph over the NBA-best Golden State Warriors on Monday. The Heat will try to push their season-best winning streak to five straight against the Brooklyn Nets.

Hawks vs Bulls

The Atlanta Hawks steamrolled over the Chicago Bulls for three quarters on Friday. They are now set to meet for a third time this season. Chicago’s reserves played a dominating fourth quarter to significantly close the gap as Atlanta claimed a 102-93 decision.

76ers vs Bucks

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to make stunning strides and look to lasso their 10th victory in 13 contests versus the Milwaukee Bucks. The 76ers will be without star center Joel Embiid (knee) for the second straight night, but his absence didn’t prevent the club from posting a 121-110 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

Raptors vs Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies have had plenty of time to stew over their most lopsided home loss of the season. Legs should be fresh for their matchup with the Toronto Raptors. The Canadian team is coming off a 108-106 home loss to San Antonio on Tuesday and have lost three straight on the second half of back-to-backs.

Thunder vs Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans managed to earn a win without All-Star forward Anthony Davis on Monday but would prefer to have their best player available on Wednesday. Davis would serve as the last line of defense against Russell Westbrook’s drives to the basket.

Warriors vs Hornets

The Golden State Warriors haven’t dropped back-to-back regular-season games since April 2015 and will put that streak on the line against the Charlotte Hornets. The Warriors had their latest winning streak end at seven straight in a 105-102 setback at Miami on Monday.

Knicks vs Mavericks

The New York Knicks finally managed to pull out a close game on Monday, though it probably never should have gotten tight at the end in the first place. The Knicks will try to build a lead and maintain it throughout the fourth quarter this time versus the Dallas Mavericks.

Lakers vs Trail Blazers

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off the worst loss in franchise history. They were routed 122-73 by the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, and the 49-point margin of defeat marked their second 40-point loss during a stretch in which they have suffered six defeats in the last seven games.

Posted in NBA

NBA Rundown

DFS Basketball Preview

FanPicks has all of NBA matchup ready for live DFS basketball. Take a look at every game available at FanPicks.com on Thursday.

Suns vs Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t look so powerful during a six-game road swing and attempt to turn things around against the Phoenix Suns. Cleveland lost three of the final four games on its excursion and was drubbed 126-91 by the Golden State Warriors in Monday’s finale.

The Cavaliers also lost to the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz on the trip and figure to find wins easier to come by at home, where their 18-3 mark is the second-best in the NBA. Cleveland power forward Kevin Love (back) will be a game-day decision after being injured during the loss to the Warriors and he was limited in Wednesday’s workout. Phoenix also has dropped three of its last four games, including a 106-101 loss to the Jazz on Monday despite standout point guard Eric Bledsoe excelling with 31 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Mavericks vs Heat

The Dallas Mavericks spent most of the first half of the schedule languishing at the bottom of the Western Conference but are finally beginning to make a move up. The Mavericks will try to push their season-best winning streak to four in a row against the Miami Heat.

Wizards vs Knicks

Carmelo Anthony is tired of all the drama team president Phil Jackson is creating for the New York Knicks but reiterated he wants to remain with the club. His team responded with a superb win in Boston and looks to post another victory on Thursday versus the Washington Wizards.

Nuggets vs Spurs

The Denver Nuggets are suddenly the hottest offense in the NBA and scored at least 125 points in each of their last three games with all of them being wins. The competition is about to get a little stiffer. The Nuggets might be catching the Spurs at the right time though, with San Antonio dropping two of its last four games and needing to come from behind to earn a 122-114 home triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 12.

Timberwolves vs Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have gotten used to playing without one or two of their All-Stars, and a couple of months without Chris Paul is just the latest obstacle for the team to overcome. The Clippers will try to earn an eighth consecutive win without Paul around.

Posted in NBA

NBA DFS Basketball Rundown

Hornets vs 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers passed their win total from last season when they came from behind in the fourth quarter to down the New York Knicks on Wednesday to clinch their 11th victory, and they are ready to take bigger steps forward. The 76ers will try to earn their first three-game winning streak of the season when they host the Charlotte Hornets for the first NBA DFS basketball matchup of the day.

Nets vs Raptors

DeMar DeRozan is on a roll and looks to score at least 36 points for the fourth consecutive game when the Toronto Raptors host the Brooklyn Nets. DeRozan poured in a season-best 41 points in Tuesday’s victory over Boston and is averaging 37.7 and nine rebounds over his last three contests.

Heat vs Bucks

Two teams trending in opposite directions will square off when the Miami Heat visit the Milwaukee Bucks. Only the Brooklyn Nets are keeping the Heat off the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings while an exciting young Bucks team is pushing for a top-eight spot in the conference and is coming off an impressive win.

Grizzlies vs Rockets

Only fatigue seems to slow James Harden and the Houston Rockets, who had a nine-game winning streak come to an end on the second night of a back-to-back at Minnesota on Wednesday. The Rockets will get a day off to get their legs back under them before returning home to host the Memphis Grizzlies.

Thunder vs Timberwolves

Russell Westbrook gets tired of discussing triple-doubles but there is no mistaking that the feat typically is a prime factor in an Oklahoma City victory. Westbrook takes aim at his 19th triple-double of the season and the Thunder’s fourth straight victory when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Celtics vs Hawks

The hot-and-cold Atlanta Hawks are soaring yet again, bringing a seven-game winning streak into their home contest against the Boston Celtics. A 117-97 victory Tuesday at Brooklyn surpassed an earlier six-game win streak for longest of the season for a Hawks team that is 12-6 since a seven-game slide.

Magic vs Trail Blazers

Large improvements on the defensive end are getting the Portland Trail Blazers headed back in the right direction, and a big win on Wednesday could be a stepping stone going forward. The Trail Blazers will try to keep up the intensity on the defensive end and earn a third straight win when they host the Orlando Magic.

Cavaliers vs Kings

Speculation is heating up that the Sacramento Kings and star center DeMarcus Cousins are close to agreement on a mammoth contract extension through the 2022-23 season. But the more immediate business for Sacramento is notching a breakthrough victory when the powerful Cleveland Cavaliers invade town.

Pistons vs Jazz

The Utah Jazz are fresh off a mammoth victory that signals their rising status in the Western Conference and look to follow up the win when they host the Detroit Pistons. Utah outplayed and outworked the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers while recording a 100-92 victory Tuesday and can move to a season-best nine games over .500 with a win over Detroit.

Time for you to make your daily pick at FanPicks.com

Posted in NBA

Dwyane Wade returns to Miami

Dwyane Wade won three NBA titles in 13 seasons with the Miami Heat before departing for Chicago as a free agent last summer. Wade makes his first visit to South Beach as a visiting player when the Bulls battle Miami on Thursday (Enter Contest).

Animosity with Heat president Pat Riley lingers from the breakdown in offseason negotiations that led him to go play for his hometown of Chicago. Wade scored 25 points on Wednesday but the Bulls lost 115-107 to the host Atlanta Hawks for their fourth loss in five games. Miami also has dropped four of its last five games after suffering a 97-85 road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

ABOUT THE BULLS (4-4)

Dwyane Wade, a 12-time All-Star, had his second-highest scoring output of the season while making 10-of-17 shots and contributing a season-best five steals in the loss to the Hawks. The 34-year-old is averaging 17.9 points, a distant second on the Bulls behind fellow All-Star guard Jimmy Butler (23.3), who is Chicago’s primary scoring option. Butler scored a season-high 39 points against Atlanta. It was his highest total since a career-best 53-point effort against Philadelphia last January. He also contributed with seven assists and matched his career high of six steals in Wednesday’s game. Point guard Rajon Rondo is averaging just 6.8 assists and has reached double digits only once.

ABOUT THE HEAT (2-4)

Miami is still adapting to not having Wade and the current top scoring options are point guard Goran Dragic (18 points per game) and center Hassan Whiteside (17.5 points, team-best 13.8 rebounds). Backup forward James Johnson scored a season-best 18 points against Oklahoma City and is averaging 14.5 points over the past two games. The Heat won all four of last season’s meetings, including victories by 22 and 18 points.

Posted in NBA