Handicapping the NBA: Celtics, Warriors square off in Oakland
Handicapping the NBA: Celtics, Warriors square off in Oakland

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Go see Get Out. That's it for pop culture references this week.

Last Week: 2-0 (22-20-1 on the season)

Hornets at Heat (-4)

The reemergence of Dion Waiters has been one of the better narratives of the season, and alongside Waiters, Dragic has returned to the form that Heat wanted when they made the trade at the deadline two years ago. In fact, Dragic is having one of his best seasons at 30 years old. The Slovenian point guard is averaging 20.2 points per game (0.1 points below his career high, set in 2013-2014) and 6.0 assists per game, which marks his highest since the 2012-13 season. His patience and shooting confidence have never been this high – hat tip to Erik Spoelstra for the Heat's turnaround and backcourt strength.

Miami is 18-12 ATS at home and is gunning for the playoffs.

The pick: Miami (-4)

Celtics at Warriors (-8)

The Celtics are coming off a testy loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, and it was a loss where they were keeping the spread in check down the stretch. One of the significant differences between a team like the Clippers and a team like the Warriors is their ability to close out games down the stretch.

What makes this game so compelling is the head-to-head between Steph Curry and Isaiah Thomast, in addition to Klay Thompson and Avery Bradley. Boston's defense is no joke, and they are beginning to add the athleticism of Jaylen Brown into the mix. Al Horford is stiff with an elbow injury, but is expected to play. The Warriors are 7-3 overall in their last 10 games against the Celtics and are 26-3 on their home court on the season.

This will be the fourth game in the last seven days for Boston, and the road trip looks like it is beginning to take its toll.

The pick: Warriors (-8)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Rubin
Jason Rubin is a sports producer a part of the ESPN social content team where he runs point on the ESPN MMA Show on Snapchat. He had one good season betting the NBA and contributed to Rotowire's NBA content. Previously he broadcasted for TYTSports and contributed to multiple platforms along the way. He is a Carmelo Anthony apologist.
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