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Fact or Fiction

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The halfway point of the 2012-13 NBA season is nearly here, and that has us asking ourselves a bunch of questions about the remainder of the season. Check out all of our news and notes throughout the NBA from a bettors' standpoint with our most recent NBA Fact or Fiction.

FACT

The Lakers Stink...With Or Without Gasol and Howard: After losing six games in a row, the Lakers finally beat the lowly Cavaliers to get back to their winning ways. The team is getting healthier with C Dwight Howard back in the lineup, but even when this team is totally healthy, it just isn't that good. F Pau Gasol is old, G Kobe Bryant is playing out of position and is struggling because of it, and the bench has nothing of note coming off of it. The fact that this team is 15-21-1 ATS is no mistake, and it won't be getting any better as the season progresses.

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The New Nets' Swagger:
It took firing Avery Johnson to happen, but the Nets are clearly playing with some swagger again. They've got six straight wins and four straight covers, albeit against a relatively light schedule, but they're scoring points on everyone that they are taking on, and finally look to be in solid groove. In the East, this is a very talented team, and it is one that we aren't going to be stepping in front of any time in the near future.

Carmelo Anthony Can Lead the Knicks to a Title: The equation is very simple here for the Knicks. They're 3-5 SU and 2-5-1 ATS in their nine games without F Carmelo Anthony in the lineup. In games in which he does play, his 29.3 points per game has led the team to 21-8 SU and 17-12 ATS records. As long as Melo is out there, New York is a contender, and in the East, this club looks even stronger on paper.

FICTION

The Mavericks Will Make the Playoffs: F Dirk Nowitzki recently told Yahoo! Sports that he thought that the Mavs would make it as the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. Just one problem. Dallas is a lot closer to the worst record in the conference (3.5-games up on the New Orleans) than to the No. 8 seed (5.5-games back of Portland). The team enters this week having won two straight and covered three straight, but the Mavs are still just a long ways away from thinking about playing in the second season.

Rudy Gay is going to make some team an instant title contender: Don't get us wrong, we love Rudy. He is averaging 17.8 points per game for the Grizzlies this year. However, he isn't a playoff experienced player, having played just seven postseason games all-time, and the Grizz actually did better without him than with him. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Gay will be traded before the deadline, and perhaps as soon as this week, but buyer beware! This could turn some unsuspecting team into one of the worst ATS teams in the league in a hurry.

Chicago's Home ATS Record: It's really hard to go 4-16 ATS at home over the course of a season, but that's what the Bulls have done to date. It really doesn't make all that much sense either, because the team is 20-15 and is holding its own in the Central Division title race. It's odd because this team was so strong at home over the course of the last two seasons (62-12). Eventually G Derrick Rose will reenter the fold, and matters should get back to normal in the Windy City.

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: Top Rookie Bet - Stanley Johnson
News: 2015 Rookie of the Year Odds
Bucks sign Monroe to 3-year contract
Pacers, Ellis agree to 4-year, $44M deal
Tim Duncan returning for 19th season
Pelicans give C Asik 5-year contract
Love staying with Cavs for $110M
Warriors, Green agree to 5 yr/ $85M deal
Bulls, Butler reach 5-year, $90M deal
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