Matchups & Predictions:
Spurs (12-3) @ Celtics (9-6)
Wizards (4-9) @ Magic (6-9)
Mavericks (2-12) @ Cavs (11-2)
Hornets (8-6) @ Knicks (7-7)
Bulls (9-6) @ Sixers (4-11)
Clippers (14-2) @ Pistons (7-9)
Hawks (10-5) @ Jazz (8-8)
Raptors (9-6) @ Bucks (6-7)
Heat (4-10) @ Grizzlies (10-5)
Nets (4-10) @ Pacers (7-9)
Wolves (4-10) @ Suns (5-11)
Thunder (8-8) @ Nuggets (6-9)
Pelicans (6-10) @ Blazers (8-9)
Warriors by 10-14 (13-2) @ Lakers (8-8)
Rockets (9-6) @ Kings (6-9)
- 1: After starting the season at 6-1 the Hornets are now 8-6. Hornets will have a tough game at MSG against the surging Pozi and the Knicks. Hornets will struggle to contain Pozi much like Rose and the Knicks will find it tough to keep Kemba quiet.
- 2: Spurs v Celts could be the best game of the day, and over before anyone reads this. The early tip means predicting the future after the fact, which is fun. San Antonio are quietly on a roll, winning their past 7, and Boston are healthy again. Spurs in a close call.
- 3: Wont be a very competitive game between the Bulls and 76ers after Embiid exceeded his minutes restrictions in the OT against Memphis and will be rested as a result.
- 4: The future meets in the present as the Wolves square off against Phoenix. Booker and Towns have both been excellent again this season, but both need more consistent support. Expect Wiggins to break out of his horrible shooting slump.
#JerseyBet Competition: Since the Spurs and Celts have already played, we are disqualifying that game for today’s purposes. If we don’t get the other 14 predictions right and you do, you win a jersey of your choice. Must include a 5 point margin in the Spotlight Game for tie breaker purposes.
Spotlight Game: Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors (13-2) @ Los Angeles Lakers (8-8)
Staples Center – November 25th @ 10:30pm ET (AUS – 2:30pm Sat 26th)
As we know the first time these two met the Lakers sent the Warriors back to Oakland with a big L. The Warriors exacted their revenge two days ago in a 43 point routing of the Lakers. The numbers were impressive, the Dubs scored 149 points during regulation, dishing out a franchise record of 47 assists, Curry, KD and Klay all scored 26 points or more with Draymond notching 11 assists. Draymond Green has also been important in the Warriors 9 game winning streak, joining Davis as the only player ranking in the top 15 for rebounds, blocks and steals. Look for another Warriors victory with both Russell and Randle both out, they have an enormous advantage at every position except centre and it won’t be often I will say that Mozgov is the best centre on the court.
History isn’t on the Lakers’ side. In each of the past 2 seasons, the Lakers have beaten the Warriors once at home. With both Russell and Randle out, this doesn’t look to be the year that changes. LA’s porous defence just doesn’t have the personnel to defend the juggernaut that is the Warriors offence, even when going ‘small’ with Deng at the 4 spot and Ingram at the 3. Walton will have to hope for misses, and that his team can turn them into easy opportunities at the other end. On the plus side, another solid outing by Ingram may force coach Walton to make him a permanent starter.
Key Bench Guys:
Iggy had a well documented poor start to the season. He shot 36% from the field in the first 10 games but has since improved to 51% (17-for 33) after their routing of the Lakers. However Iggy’s contribution to the second unit isn’t efficient scoring, (they have 3 other guys for that), he helps an underhanded defence, shares ball handling responsibilities. He leads the league in assist to turnovers at 6.1 and is top 10 for steals per turnover.
The time is now for Jordan Clarkson, no D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle to share the rock with. After experiencing a slaughter at the hands of Golden State just 2 days ago, Clarkson needs to show he can truly anchor the second unit by providing excellent leadership and communication, along with his buckets. It’s never scoring that is a problem: Clarkson is averaging 15 per game in 50% shooting from the field. He will need to provide much more playmaking than his 2 assists per game indicate for the short handed Lakers to have any sort of a chance.