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Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, goes to the basket against Sacramento Kings forward Harry Giles III during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, goes to the basket against Sacramento Kings forward Harry Giles III during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. |Rich Pedroncelli | Associated Press
NBA

Wednesday NBA Picks: Heat vs Clippers, and Hawks vs Timberwolves — as the dust settles on the big trade, how will the players respond?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

0-2 Tuesday, 86-83-1 overall.

Hawks (+4.5) @ Timberwolves (239)

Pick: Timberwolves -4.5

The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost 12 in a row and I’m betting on them. Why? Because it makes almost no sense that they’re laying 4.5 points. When things look too good to be true, they usually are and we simply cannot get behind Atlanta tonight for that reason. For what it’s worth, Minnesota did compete well in the second half against Sacramento on Monday night and nearly got all the way back from a 15-point halftime deficit. These two teams were two of the four involved in Tuesday night’s big trade that also included Denver and Houston. Arguably the best player moved in the trade, Clint Capela, went from the Rockets to the Hawks. He’s been nursing a heel injury and won’t play tonight for the Hawks, but it was certainly curious that Atlanta, a team with a 13-38 record was looking add at this time of year. The Wolves sent moved several players in the trade, highlighted by Robert Covington going to Houston. Minnesota is looking to infuse more young talent into its roster as it acquired Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Juancho Hernangomez from Denver and a first-round draft pick from Atlanta via Brooklyn. With the trade deadline about 24 hours out, perhaps tonight’s game poses a chance for another veteran or two to play his way out of Minnesota tonight. If not that, then maybe more young players get opportunities to prove themselves. And for as bad as the Timberwolves have been, they’re still four games better than the Hawks in the loss column, which says a lot about Atlanta. Minnesota finally gets in the win column tonight.

Heat (+6.5) @ Clippers (223)

Pick: Clippers -6.5

We wrote on Monday about the Heat’s dominance at home. Well it’s been just the opposite on the road as Miami is a league-best 17-7-1 ATS at home and 11-12-1 against the number on the highway. The Clippers have shown us all season that they care about games against marquee opponents and are willing to rest Kawhi Leonard against lackluster opponents. Everything is building to the postseason with them and they’ve certainly picked their spots to make statements in the regular season. This would seem to be another one of those spots for Los Angeles. Miami travels across the country off a blowout win on Monday night against Philadelphia. The Clippers have been at home since the beginning of last week as they concluded a road trip in Orlando on Sunday, January 26, and then traveled back to LA where they’ve played three straight home games with a fourth coming tonight. Any time we get a motivated Clippers team we’re going to look to back them, especially when they’ve been sleeping in their own beds for over a week while the Heat are flying across the country.