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Fact or Fiction

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Editor’s Note: Don’t miss out on daily pro basketball winners from Mike Rose this season. Click to win!

The first three months of the NBA season is now said and done with, and that means that we are heading into the second-half of the NBA season. Check out some of the hot topic items as we head into February for NBA betting fans, as we decipher which are fact and which are fiction.
 
FACT
 
The Indiana Pacers Have Troubles With Transition Teams: The Phoenix Suns certainly proved that fact over the course of the last week and a half, beating up these Pacers twice in that stretch with tremendous offensive outings. Though we don't think it is going to help the aging Miami Heat win the East, it could lay out the formula for some teams in the Eastern Conference to come out of nowhere and challenge the Pacers in the playoffs if they aren't careful. Center Roy Hibbert is completely taken out of these fast-paced games, and he's a big piece of the puzzle for Indiana.
 
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The Chicago Bulls Need To Trade Kirk Hinrich For a Swingman
: The Bulls dealt away their best swingman in F Luol Deng just a few weeks ago, but the players on the court have been buzzing and have this team in legit contention to be the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Chicago almost has to go for it at this point, and rumors of G Kirk Hinrich being dealt for F Harrison Barnes seem to be persisting. It would be a great trade for both sides, and it would give Chicago the ability to continue the growth of G DJ Augustin and give them a legit small forward who can stretch the floor and take some pressure off of the bigs to get the job done offensively.
 
These Bucks Are As Bad As Those Bobcats: You know which Charlotte Bobcats team we're talking about. The ones which went on an epic losing streak and had one of the worst records that the NBA has ever seen. No, the Bucks aren't only going to win 10 games this year, but they really don't show any signs of improvement, and they really aren't all that young of a team either. Point guard Brandon Knight is really the only man that this franchise can build around, and after letting everyone walk last season and making that ridiculous deal with the Orlando Magic to get shooting guard JJ Redick for a push towards the No. 8 seed in the East, it's tough to think that management really has any clue about what it’s doing.
 
FICTION
 
The Toronto Raptors Are Legit Eastern Conference Contenders: Just because you're the leaders of the Atlantic Division doesn't mean you have a legit gripe to be a playoff contender this year. The Raptors are paper thin, and outside of PG Kyle Lowry and SG DeMar DeRozan, we aren't all that impressed. That bench isn't used nearly enough, and the team is going to be worn down. Even if Toronto, which has won and covered four out of five, does win the Atlantic Division, don't be surprised if a team like the Washington Wizards or Atlanta Hawks takes it out of the playoffs in the opening round.
 
By March, the Los Angeles Lakers Will Be Dangerous Again: Yeah… no they won't. G Kobe Bryant should be back in the fold by then, but we just don't see what good any of that does. C Pau Gasol is still a me-first player in the paint, and though G Jodie Meeks, G Nick Young, and F Ryan Kelly have all evolved, they aren't ready to step up and become role players for Bryant, an aging G Steve Nash, and G Steve Blake. The Lakers are a mess, and even getting healthy isn't going to change any of that. Unfortunately, the Buss family is just too ego-driven to concede and trade any and all assets that the team has.
 
The Phoenix Suns as Western Conference Contenders: Phoenix is getting there for sure. But even though the Suns exposed the Indiana Pacers over the course of these last two games in scoring 226 points in two duels against Indiana, we still don't think it is a legit contender. Winning four games in five nights on the East Coast is tough, but these games, save for the last one against the Pacers, were all suspect. Wake us up when the Suns have an inside game. These Suns are no better than the Suns that kept coming up short year after year with Mike D'Antoni calling the shots, and the end results this year will be no different. I will say that coach Jeff Hornacek certainly has this club on the right track, but don’t get crazy and start buying up Suns future tickets to win the West!

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Wednesday's Tip Sheet
Sportsbook: Heat, Spurs look for 2-0 leads
Lawrence: Zig-Zag Theory
Bobcats' Jefferson still in walking boot
Suns' Dragic named Most Improved Player
Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year
Jazz begin search for new coach
Wolves look to replace Adelman
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