NBA Free Pick For Dec. 21

The Heat gets all the attention, the Celtics and Lakers get all the respect, and the Spurs get their share of the spotlight for their great start to the year.

This is all just fine for the Dallas Mavericks, who are quietly putting together an excellent and underappreciated season.

Dallas owns the third-best record in the NBA. The Mavs have lost just one game on the road. And they’ve already beat the Heat (twice), the Celtics and the Spurs.

Yet they are catching 3.5 points tonight in Orlando, underdogs against a Magic team that is in disarray after making a couple blockbuster trades last weekend.

Orlando is an elite team in reputation only. The Magic has lost three games in a row and seven of its last 10. And coach Stan Van Gundy is scratching his head these days how to redesign his offence around Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas while making up for the losses of Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter.

The Mavericks played last night, but we don’t see fatigue being an issue for this deep Dallas squad. The Mavs are 4-0 this year when playing their second game in as many days.

Take the Dallas Mavericks +3.5 tonight, and good luck!