Picks: Five-by-Five

It's fitting that on Eliza Dushku's birthday, I'd turn a post about my NBA picks thus far this season into a reference to the catchphrase her character Faith used on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel".

You see, through five days of the season, a weird trend has emerged in the results of my game-by-game picks: each day, no matter how many games have been played, I've correctly picked five of them. Obviously, this worked out great on Christmas Day (5-0), Dec. 27 (5-0) and Dec. 29 (5-1) and worked out very poorly on the 26th (5-7) and the 28th (5-5). And I'm worried about today's 11-game slate, which, if the trend holds, would drop my overall win percentage from .658 to .612.

That said, if the trend were to keep up throughout the entire season, I'd easily finish with a winning record on my picks, which would be nice. But that can't happen. No matter what happens tonight, or for the next few days, the trend is guaranteed of ending on Thursday, January 5, 2012, when there are only four games on the schedule.

So, with that in mind, here are the picks for tonight, five of which are guaranteed to be right (guarantee not valid on planets that support carbon-based life forms): Magic, Pacers, Celtics, Hawks, Heat, Grizzlies, Hornets, Mavericks, Bucks, Jazz, Bulls.