With the Kings visiting the Heat on Tuesday, it's a good time to talk about a rumored trade between the teams. Sacramento has been looking for its first top-flight point guard since Mike Bibby, it seems. Miami is probably going to be a lottery team this season and mortgaged the future at the February 2015 trade deadline by getting point guard Goran Dragic from Phoenix. With Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh now gone, there's really no reason for the Heat to keep Dragic around. Reportedly, Pat Riley would like to deal him for a potential draft pick and to shed salary. The Kings and Heat have discussed a deal where the Kings would get Dragic and send Rudy Gay and currently suspended Darren Collison to south Florida. The value there for the Heat is that Gay and Collison are in the last year of their contracts and thus Miami could be a huge player next summer in free agency. Including this season, Dragic has three guaranteed years remaining on his deal for a total of $51 million. The Kings want to dump Gay because he already has said he's opting out and there's no chance of returning next year.
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Magic at 76ers (+4.5, 201)
Orlando has really struggled under new Coach Frank Vogel as the Magic have allowed at least 105 points in each of their three losses and not scored triple digits yet. They were in Cleveland on Saturday and lost 105-99. Philly laid an egg Saturday in losing 104-72 at home to the Hawks. Maybe all the improvement shown in Wednesday's close loss to the Thunder was a mirage. Joel Embiid was limited to just 15 minutes vs. Atlanta but should be closer to 20 here assuming no foul trouble. These teams split last season.
Key trends: The road team is 5-1 against the spread in the past six meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in eight of the past 11 meetings in Philly.
Early lean: Magic and under.
Rockets at Cavaliers (-8.5, 218)
First of an NBA TV doubleheader. Houston completed a home-and-home sweep of Dallas with a 93-92 win Sunday thanks to James Harden's winning free throw with 0.1 seconds left. Harden led Houston with 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He did roll his ankle near the end of the game but said he wasn't worried about it. Cleveland improved to 3-0 with a 105-99 home win over Orlando on Saturday. The Cavs nearly blew a 22-point third-quarter lead in beating the Magic for the 15th straight time. Houston and Cleveland split last year.
Key trends: The Rockets are 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The under is 5-2 in the past seven.
Early lean: Cavs and over.
Lakers at Pacers (-9, 213)
Los Angeles fell 113-96 in Oklahoma City on Sunday. The Lakers couldn't stop Russell Westbrook and hit just 7-for-32 from long range. What's interesting about this game is I know for a fact the Lakers covet Pacers star Paul George. Doubt the Pacers trade him barring an overwhelming offer. They lost 118-101 in Chicago on Saturday in the second of a back-to-back. The game wasn't that close. George had 20 points. Rodney Stuckey (right hamstring) sat out and was to have an MRI on Monday. Indiana won two very close meetings against L.A. in 2015-16.
Key trends: The home team has covered three of the past five meetings. The over is 7-1 in the past eight at Indiana.
Early lean: Lakers and over.
Kings at Heat (-3.5, 198)
Second of a back-to-back for Sacramento, which was in Atlanta on Monday. Miami dropped a second straight Sunday, 106-99 to San Antonio. The Heat did rally from a 16-point hole to briefly lead in the fourth quarter. Hassan Whiteside had 27 points (tying career high) and added 15 rebounds. The Heat remain without Josh Richardson (knee). Miami won two high-scoring games vs. Sacramento last year.
Key trends: The Kings are 3-11 ATS in their past 14 in Miami. The over is 9-1 in the past 10 meetings.
Early lean: Heat and over.
Knicks at Pistons (-3.5, 197)
New York beat Memphis 111-104 in the Knicks' home opener Saturday. Joakim Noah looked as good as he has in a few years with six points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Kristaps Porzingis scored 21 points and Carmelo Anthony had 20. Detroit won a second straight Sunday, 93-83 over Milwaukee. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 23 rebounds, his 10th career 20/20 game. New York won two of three in this series last season.
Key trends: The favorite is 13-4 ATS in the past 17 meetings. The under is 11-5 in the past 16 in Detroit.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Bucks at Pelicans (-2.5, 204)
Milwaukee lost 98-83 in Detroit on Sunday in the Bucks' first road game. They finished with season lows in rebounds (40) and defensive rebounds (30) as Drummond dominated the boards. New Orleans fell to 0-3 with a 98-79 loss in San Antonio on Saturday in the second of a back-to-back. Anthony Davis was held to 18 points after scoring 50 and 45 points in the season's first two games. These teams split in 2015-16.
Key trends: The Bucks are 1-5 ATS in their past six in New Orleans. The under is 4-1 in the Pelicans' past five vs. the East.
Early lean: Pelicans and under.
Grizzlies at Timberwolves (-5, 201)
Memphis beat Washington 112-103 in overtime Sunday. Marc Gasol had 20 points, including eight in OT. He also tied it on a 3-pointer 15.7 seconds to go in regulation. Gasol's four 3-pointers made were a career high. Mike Conley added 24 points and 11 assists. Minnesota is looking for its first win at 0-2. The Wolves opened the season with a 102-98 loss in Memphis. Then they lost 106-103 in Sacramento on Saturday. Minnesota led the Kings by as many as 18. This then is the Wolves' home opener.
Key trends: The home team is 5-2 ATS in the previous seven meetings. The over is 6-0 in the past six.
Early lean: Wolves and over.
Jazz at Spurs (-11.5, 189.5)
Utah lost 88-75 at the Clippers on Sunday. Utah's offense badly misses the injured Gordon Hayward. Only one Jazz starter reached double-figure points in that loss. San Antonio improved to 4-0 with a 106-99 victory. Kawhi Leonard has been stellar in the early going and scored 14 of his 27 points in the final 6:04 of the game vs. the Heat, including the last 12 for the Spurs. Coach Gregg Popovich is already in form as he gave LaMarcus Aldridge the night off in the second of a back-to-back. The Spurs were 4-0 vs. the Jazz last year and Utah scored more than 86 points in just one of those.
Key trends: The Jazz are 2-12 ATS in their past 14 vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 7-1 in San Antonio's past eight at home.
Early lean: Spurs and under.
Warriors at Trail Blazers (+7, 226.5)
Second NBA TV game. Golden State is 2-1 but hasn't looked anywhere close to dominant. The Warriors won only 106-100 at a bad Phoenix team on Sunday. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry combined for 65 points. Golden State committed 16 turnovers, leading to 25 Phoenix points. Portland won 115-113 in OT in Denver on Saturday. Damian Lillard scored 37 points, including the go-ahead floater with less than a second remaining in OT. Lillard had tied the game on a runner in regulation with 2.1 seconds remaining. Portland big man Festus Ezeli sat out with a left knee issue. Playoff rematch as the Warriors took out the Blazers in five games in the West semifinals in May. The Warriors won three of their four regular-season games against the Trail Blazers as well. Portland has won only two of the past seven meetings at home during the regular season.
Key trends: The home team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 5-0 in the past five meetings in Portland.
Early lean: Blazers and over.
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