Matchups & Predictions:
Jazz (7-6) @ Rockets (7-5)
Hornets (8-3) @ Pelicans (3-10)
Heat (3-8) @ Wizards (3-8)
Mavericks (2-9) @ Magic (5-7)
Celtics (6-5)@ Pistons (6-7)
Suns (4-9) @ Sixers (2-10)
Wolves (4-7) @ Grizzlies (7-5)
Warriors (9-2) @ Bucks (5-6)
Bulls (8-4) @ Clippers (11-2)
- 1: Is this the game Al Horford finally returns to the Celtics? They sure could use him vs that Detroit front line. Without him, the Celts likely drop to being a .500 ball club.
- 2: Can the Clippers continue their hot start, or will Jimmy Butler and the surprising Chicago Bulls cause another upset?
- 3: KAT vs Marc “McGregor” Gasol will be one of today’s really fun match-ups. Who wins that duel will likely win the game. Sidenote: Andrew Wiggins has broken out, folks.
- 4: James Harden triple double watch vs the Jazz. Harden has unsurprisingly thrived under D’Antoni. The Jazz and Rox are likely fighting over similar playoff seeds, it’ll be interesting to see who gets the early edge.
Spotlight Game: Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks
Golden State Warriors (9-2) @ Milwaukee Bucks (5-6)
BMO Harris Bradley Center – November 19th @ 8:30pm ET (AUS – 12:30pm Sun 20th)
The much vaunted Warriors starting 5 is beginning to hit its straps. Everyone expected Curry and KD’s numbers to drop this year, but there hasn’t been a big change from that perspective. KD is essentially right around his career numbers with an upswing in efficiency (27/8/4 on 50%), and Steph is still Steph (33/4/6 on 58% over his past 5). The Warriors backcourt clearly has a huge advantage in this one, so I would expect them to dominate this game. Klay hasn’t found his game as a 3rd banana, but will have every opportunity to thrive going against an overmatched Snell. Green and Parker will be a fun match-up, and Zaza and Henson will be essentially a non-factor.
The Bucks lineup will have its work cut out for it against a bunch of future HOFers. Having laid an egg in their last game vs Miami, we’ll see if Coach Kidd makes a lineup change. Delly will need to scrap and niggle Curry like it’s the 2015 NBA Finals to get him off his game, and Snell will have to make teams pay for leaving him wide open. The Greek Freak has been sensational so far this season, but is facing off against one of the only people in the world who match him from an athletic and physiological standpoint. That will be a great show. Jabari will have his work cut out for him against Green, but if he can get his jumper working – it’ll open up paint attacks with no shot blocking presence. Henson needs to do what he does – protect the paint at all costs and contest the deep ball shots.
Key Bench Guys:
Iggy is in a contract year and honestly has struggled through the first 11 games of the season (5/3/3 on 40% in 24 minutes). It looks like he found his groove in the Dubs win over Toronto and got to his game, so perhaps that’s a sign of things to come.
Moose just copped a DNP-CD for the first time maybe ever vs Miami, which was a surprise. Clearly the long term fit isn’t here in Milwaukee, but Monroe’s specific skillset could help them big time vs Golden State. Not from a defensive perspective, as Monroe is no shot blocker, but Moose is one of the better interior scoring bigs going around – and defending this kind of big is a huge deficiency for the Dubs. I’d expect Kidd to go to Moose over Plumlee as first big off the bench in this one to see if he can make them pay.