Matchups & Predictions:
Nuggets (7-13) @ Sixers (4-16)
Cavaliers (13-5) by 6-10 points @ Raptors (14-6)
Wizards (6-12) @ Nets (5-14)
Thunder (13-8) @ Hawks (10-11)
Blazers (11-10) @ Bulls (11-8)
Spurs (16-4) @ Bucks (10-8)
Grizzlies (13-8) @ Pelicans (7-14)
Celtics (12-8) @ Rockets (13-7)
Hornets (11-9) @ Mavericks (4-15)
Jazz (12-9) @ Lakers (10-12)
Pacers (10-10) @ Warriors (17-3)
- 1: Giannis vs Kawhi is one of the better individual match-ups you can hope for. This is gonna be seriously entertaining. The Bucks are on fire, and will be a significant challenge for the veteran Spurs.
- 2: Can anyone slow down Anthony Davis? If any player has a chance it’s former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. Look for both to bang down low and step outside (yes Marc Gasol has hit 30 of 70 from deep this season, good for 42%!)
- 3: Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics will have their hands full with one of the NBA’s biggest point guards. Harden has been a beast so far in season 16/17 – can the Rockets continue their rise? Or will the now healthy Celts really start rolling?
- 4: Embiid vs Jokic. Look for ‘The Process’ to have a great battle against the Nuggets young talented big. These two are both fiercely competitive and will be looking to come out on top as the alpha dog.
#JerseyBet Competition: If we don’t get all 11 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: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors
Air Canada Centre – December 5 @ 7:30pm ET (AUS – 11:30am Tue 6th)
The Cavs have been running on fumes lately. Having lost their past 3 games (Bucks, Clippers and Bulls) the defending champs will be looking to get back to that winning feeling against one of their top contenders in the Eastern Conference. The marquee match up in this one is at the Point, with All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry going head to head. Irving is having a terrific season and currently leads the team in ppg at 24 per game and shooting 48% from the field (both career highs). JR Smith’s lack of a training camp is really showing now, as he’s in the midst of his worst campaign since his sophomore year (8ppg on 30%!). Big job going against the crafty DeRozan. Lebron is probably playing more minutes than he’d like so far this season, but is averaging a career high 9.4 assists per game. He remains one of the games truly elite players, although by his lofty standards he has been subpar during this Cavs losing streak. Kevin Love has a huge advantage over rookie Siakam at the PF slot. Love is arguably having his best career season (21 and 10, 2.4 3’s per game) and will be looking to continue his floor stretching ways. The Canadian Thompson returns to his home country and will look to do battle with the well endowed elbows of Jonas Valanciunas.
Unlike the Cavs, the Raptors have been rolling. They are on a nice little six game run, including a 44 point routing of the Hawks. One of the main reasons to the Raptors strong run has been Kyle Lowry. He has been LIGHTS OUTS shooting the ball over the last six games, going 62% from deep, hitting 25 of his last 40 three-point attempts. The Cavs are going to struggle to contain the Raptors back court, especially with Kyrie’s defensive liabilities. DeMarre Carroll has also finally found some form after a horrific run of injuries, and during the last 6 games has been averaging nearly 15 points a game off 54%. Whilst his speed and step haven’t returned yet (or may never will), he will look to frustrate Lebron with his high IQ and strong off ball movement. With the Raptors hitting more shots, it has also allowed DeRozan to find more space and make more passes. While his points are down over the last 2 weeks, he is still averaging 20/6/6 over the same period. Look for JVal to get feisty and physical with Canada’s very own TT as they do will battle down low and will make for a nice little match up away from the big names.
Key Bench Guys:
After going through some serious personal tragedies over the past month or so, you could forgive Channing Frye for going on an extended sabbatical. However, Frye is back balling and they need him to show up to break this losing streak. If Thompson can’t handle J-Val down low, expect to see a lot of the floor spacing big veteran in this game.
Terrence Ross is quietly putting together his most rounded season of his 5 year career. While he will struggle to ever live up to the high hopes of the last few years, his markedly improved defence and elite shooting means opposing teams have to respect him. How honest? Well he only attempts 8 shots a game, but he is currently shooting 50% from the floor, 44% from deep, and 95% from the line, making him a contemporary member of the 50/40/90 club.