Terrible news out of Miami this week in that All-Star forward Chris Bosh is apparently dealing with blood clot issues again, the same thing that not only cut last season short but put his life in a bit of jeopardy. It wasn't supposed to be a recurring problem but Bosh is back on blood thinners and his season likely is over -- there's also a chance his career might be. You can't play NBA basketball on blood-thinners. Well, maybe you could but if you take a big fall or elbow to the face or something, you could be in major trouble. Bosh is in the second year of a guaranteed, five-year, $118 million contract. If Bosh did have to retire, although we certainly aren't there yet, he gets fully paid. The Heat would not be able to receive salary-cap relief for his loss until a full year after he retires. This obviously changes Miami's direction for not just this season (i.e. just cut salary now because no deep playoff run is possible without Bosh) but potentially going forward. Last year, Miami went 15-15 after Bosh was lost for the season.
It's the busiest night of the regular season thus far Friday with every team in action other than Cleveland and the L.A. Clippers. Keep in mind the trade deadline was Thursday at 3 p.m. ET so any early game odds could change dramatically depending on any deals. Might be tough for guys traded Thursday to get to their new teams and clear a physical by Friday as well.
Mavericks at Magic (+1, 199.5)
Orlando should debut new additions Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova, acquired from Detroit on Tuesday. This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. Orlando has lost seven straight regular season meetings with the Mavericks.
Key trends: The Mavericks are 1-4 against the spread in their past five games. Orlando is 6-1 ATS in its past seven. The Mavs are 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The "over/under" is 7-2 in the past nine.
Early lean: Magic and over.
Pistons at Wizards (pick'em, 212.5)
Washington hosted Utah on Thursday. This should be the debut of Detroit's Tobias Harris, whom the Pistons acquired via trade from Orlando on Tuesday. Like that move for the Pistons as Harris is a good young player on a reasonable contract. Detroit also got Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from Houston on Thursday; not clear if they will play Friday. The Wizards won first meeting in Detroit 97-95 on Nov. 21. Marcus Morris missed the winning 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Key trends: The Pistons are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 3-1-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Knicks at Nets (+2, 198.5)
These teams have split two meetings, each winning at home. Brooklyn snapped a 10-game home losing streak with a 110-104 victory in the last meeting on Jan. 13. The Nets have now defeated New York in three straight home games for the first time since winning seven straight from 2001-04.
Key trends: The Knicks are 0-6 ATS in their past six. The over is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings.
Early lean: Knicks and over.
Heat at Hawks (-8.5, 198)
Any thought of the Heat making a big trade to make a title push this season likely went out the window with the Bosh situation. If you are wondering, the Heat lose their first-round pick in 2016 if outside the Top 10. It goes to Philly via Cleveland from the LeBron James deal. Atlanta was rumored in several potential deals ahead of Thursday's deadline. The Heat lead the season series 2-1, winning the past two.
Key trends: The Heat are 1-4 ATS in the past five in Atlanta. The under is 5-2 in the past seven meetings there.
Early lean: Hawks if all the main guys stay.
Raptors at Bulls (TBA)
Chicago was in Cleveland on Thursday. The Bulls were in discussions in potential deals for both Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson on Thursday, with a Gibson deal perhaps percolating with these Raptors. So that could make Friday's game interesting. Toronto is 0-2 vs. Chicago this season and has dropped seven straight in the series. Three of those are in the Windy City.
Key trends: The Raptors are 0-7 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 5-0 in the past five.
Early lean: TBA assuming because Bulls are so banged up. Raptors will roll here regardless.
Timberwolves at Grizzlies (-5, 199.5)
Chris Andersen could make his Memphis debut after being acquired from Miami on Tuesday. The Grizzlies and Timberwolves have split two meetings thus far, both in the Twin Cities. Memphis has won two straight at home in the series.
Key trends: The Wolves are 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Grizzlies and over.
76ers at Pelicans (-9.5, 209.5)
New Orleans was expected to make at least one deal ahead of the trade deadline, likely sending out forward Ryan Anderson. This is the first meeting this season between the teams. They split last year, each winning at home by double digits. Pelicans star Anthony Davis missed the loss.
Key trends: The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 11-3-1 in the Pelicans' past 15 games overall.
Early lean: Pelicans and under.
Pacers at Thunder (-9, 217.5)
First of an ESPN doubleheader and should have live betting. Watch the individual matchup here between the Pacers' Paul George and Thunder's Kevin Durant. It's the first meeting of the season between the teams. Indiana has dropped five straight at OKC.
Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 13-3 in OKC's past 16 vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Thunder and over.
Hornets at Bucks (pick'em, 203.5)
Courtney Lee, acquired from Memphis on Tuesday, will not debut Friday for Charlotte. Lee hardly will replace the loss of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for the season. He suffered a torn labrum in his surgically repaired right shoulder Feb. 10 and was re-evaluated after the All-Star break. But center Al Jefferson is expected to return from his long injury absence on Friday. His minutes will be limited. The Hornets and Bucks have split two meetings, both in Charlotte. The Hornets have won three straight at Milwaukee.
Key trends: The road team is 7-0 ATS in the past seven road games. The under is 7-3 in the previous 10 meetings.
Early lean: Bucks and under.
Rockets at Suns (+7.5, 215.5)
Will Dwight Howard still be a Rocket for this game? Probably. The Suns are likely to start their fire sale ahead of Thursday's deadline. Houston won the first meeting with Phoenix 111-105 in the desert on Feb. 4. The Rockets have won six of the past seven overall and Houston has scored in triple digits in all of them.
Key trends: The Rockets are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 5-1 in the past six in Phoenix.
Early lean: Rockets and over.
Warriors at Trail Blazers (+9, 219)
Now Golden State really starts its push toward that record of 72 regular-season wins. The Warriors bring an NBA-high 11-game winning streak into this one. Golden State won in Portland 128-108 on Jan. 8 in the only meeting thus far. The Warriors have won four straight in the series and three in a row in Portland.
Key trends: The Warriors are 4-0 ATS in the past four in Portland. The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings overall.
Early lean: Warriors and over.
Nuggets at Kings (-7, 218)
DeMarcus Cousins should still be a King for this game but maybe not a few other Sacramento players, especially Ben McLemore. He had missed the final three games before the break with a wrist injury but is fine. It's the first meeting of the season between the Kings and Coach George Karl's former team. They split last year.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 7-1 ATS in the past eight at Sacramento. The over is 4-0 in the past four meetings.
Early lean: Nuggets and over.
Celtics at Jazz (pick'em, 196.5)
This is the second ESPN game. Utah was in Washington on Thursday so that's a tough travel back for another game 24 hours later. Both the C's and Jazz were active in trade talks. Utah was expected to trade guard Trey Burke at a minimum. It's the first meeting this season. The Celtics won two low-scoring games last year. Boston will be without Kelly Olynyk for this game due to a shoulder injury.
Key trends: The Celtics have covered six of the past nine meetings. The under is 7-3-1 in Utah's past 11 at home.
Early lean: Celtics and under.
Spurs at Lakers (+13, 204.5)
San Antonio was at the Clippers on Thursday. The Lakers weren't expected to make any deals as they don't have much anyone wants. The Spurs are 3-0 against the Lakers this season, with only one of them close. San Antonio has won four straight at the Lakers.
Key trends: The road team has covered five of the past eight meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Lakers and over.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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