(11/29/19) NSS NBA Daily: Matchup Previews, Picks & Updates
**Matchup Previews Not By Scheduled Game Time, but by Writers Priority Of Watch”**
Bulls (6-13) @ Blazers (7-12) 8:00 PM MST
Carmelo Anthony got his 1st NBA win of his return against the Bulls. The Blazers when on to win the next game vs the Thunder and now face the Bulls, for their final meeting of the season. The Blazers are currently sitting 10th in the West, 2 games behind the 8th seed and 5 games under in the L- Column. The positive coming into the game was the performance from Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Anthony & Hassan Whiteside all seem to be rolling all scoring in double digits
The Bulls 2 game losing streak seem to have fueled the fire for Zach LaVine trade rumors. The trade rumors seem to just sparked like a full on sense of disappointment for the Bulls, nothing fun is happening there.
The Blazers are the hungriest team in the NBA right now. The rocky start didn’t help, injuries, long losing streak didn’t help but they seem to be getting back up. Heading into next week with possible 3 game winning streak for the Blazers could be huge as they face top teams in the West Clippers and Lakers.
Wizards (6-10) @ Lakers (16-2) 8:30 PM MST
Anthony Davis and LeBron James are both in MVP talks, the Lakers have the best record and most wins in the NBA and are approaching a 10 game losing streak. LeBron just recently broke another record, so yea things in LA are doing pretty good, they got a lot to be thankful for. Lakers facing the Wizards at home, should go according to plan as well, a win that is.
The Wizards are coming off a win over the Suns, thanks to Bradley Beal’s 35 point performance. Beal is doing everything he can to keep the Wizards relevant this season. Isaiah Thomas is still a work in progress but showing lots of promise since being plugged in to the starting line-up.
The Lakers game plan will go one of 2 ways 1) put a lock down defender on Beal and making him work or 2) let Beal do whatever he wants and just wait for him to get burned out in 4th then go into attack mode. Imo, the latter will be the game plan and the attack mode will be led by LeBron and AD as they both seem to come alive in the 4th.
Mavericks (11-6) @ Suns (8-9)
The Mavs took a tough loss to a full roster (#NewShoulders & #LoadManagement) Clippers team. Luka did everything he could but the Clippers on another level and exposed many of the concerns for the Mavs. The conclusion from that game, Luka NEEDS HELP and credit to Dorian Finney-Smith but he can’t guard both Kawhi and PG at the same time even though he tried.
The Suns are playing tough basketball and should only get better with a healthy roster. The Suns made it to 19 wins last year and already have 8 in 17 games this year, the improvement is showing. Losing to the Nuggets understandable, taking a loss to the Wizards and dropping to 1 game below 500 that must hurt. The Suns will look to bounce back and stopped their 2 game losing streak.
For the Suns Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes will play and that should give them a boost. For the Mavs Porzingis should aimed for a better game and should benefit for the Suns defense matchups.
Pick: Mavs. Luka for triple-double.
Final: Mavs Win. Luka 42 Points, 11 Assist, 9 Rebounds, missed it by one 😥😥
Jazz (11-7) @ Grizzlies (5-12)
Other than Donovan Mitchell the Jazz have been a frustrating team to watch. Personally, I have not been a fan of the Bogdanovic trade, the Mudiay signing had red flags all around and still waiting for Mike Conley to show up consistently. The Jazz should not be waiting till the trade deadline to make trades, just saying.
Ja Morant should be in the 1-2 ROY conversation regardless of the fact Zion Williamson hasn’t played a game. The Grizzlies hit the nail on the head giving keys to the offense to Ja Morant. The Future is bright.
Hesitant to pick the Jazz because they just haven’t been playing good basketball, but the Jazz should be playing to win and the Grizz should be playing for a draft pick.
Bucks (15-3) @ Cavaliers (5-13)
Giannis could probably play the Cavaliers 1 vs 5 and I would still bet on Giannis. The Bucks lead the East in wins with 15 and a matchup vs the Cavaliers doesn’t seem like a threat from them extending their winning streak to 10.
Kevin Love should be looking for a trade.
Raptors (13-4) @ Magic (7-10)
The Raptors 13-4 record thanks to Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakama and the rest of the team should not go unnoticed, they seem to be focus on winning basketball games. The Raptors have already beat the Magic twice this season and are on a 5 game winning streak.
Some fun stats about the Raptors
- 1st in 3 Point % in the NBA
- Pascal Siakam – 26 Ppg, 8.4 Reb, 3.9 Ast
- Fred VanVleet – 18.3 Ppg, 7.5 Ast
Kyle Lowry is still out with a thumb injury but when he gets back, what’s his price tag or trade value?
Hornets (7-12) @ Pistons (6-12)
The Hornets got better by letting go Kemba and focusing on distributing the balance between PJ Washington, Devonte Graham, Miles Bridges and (kind of) Malik Monk. Well maybe “balance” instead of “better” sounds better. Terry Rozier is not a star player but he is holding his own with the Hornets. The record 7-12 doesn’t speak out playoffs but at least they can say that they are playing better than the Pistons.
The Pistons are in lots of trouble and if is not too early to hit the panic button than it is definitely too late.
Clippers (14-5) @ Spurs (6-13)
The Clippers are on a 7 game winning streak and have the 2nd most wins in the West. The games that they have lost have been mostly due to load management but will a full roster their weaknesses are few and the shots keep on falling.
The only thing appealing is seeing Kawhi Leonard torch his old team, since he is active. The Spurs 8 game losing streak is only match by the Hawks. Honestly, comparing the Spurs and the Hawks just doesn’t sound right. If the Spurs are going to stick out and bounce back or whether they are going to push the reset button they need to decide fast.
Pelicans (6-12) @ Thunder (6-11)
Zion Williamson is still sidelined, the timeline is unclear, is it just me or every time they talk about it they just say that he is just like 2 weeks away at all times? Is that like a financial move to keep people from wanting refunds for their tickets, cause come on who is really showing up to watch the Pelicans. Yea yea Brandon Ingram is balling out and without a doubt he (and Josh Hart? Maybe?) Should be the only player along with Zion that is penciled down for the future.
The Thunder being 6-11 is not that bad, but how many games and how many more trade rumors are going to be “leaked” before something happens. Gilgeous-Alexander is a cheat code in the making, injury free and 1 more year of experience and the league is going get full on by this guy, don’t be surprised
Warriors (4-15) @ Heat (12-5)
It’s almost disrespectful to the Heat that they are so low in the priority list, but a Home matchup against the Warriors is as sure thing as it gets. The Warriors are just bad, mostly due to injuries and because of how young they are as a team, they can’t do anything about being bad.
The Heat can get better, maybe, but the real question is where they can find the answer to get them further into the playoffs.
- Imo top 4 teams in the East (in order) Bucks, Heat, Celtics & Raptors.
Hawks (4-14) @ Pacers (11-6)
This game for the Hawks may be against the Pacers but truly they are playing the Knicks worse record in the NBA and the Spurs longest losing streak. The Pacers on a 4 game winning streak are looking just as expected, not ignoring the jump by Malcom Brogdon but this is still the Pacers.
76ers (12-6) @ Knicks (4-14)
Ben Simmons has made 1 of 2 three point shots, so he now officially qualifies to be in the conversation for ROY and MIP, just saying. Now 18 games in to the season and plenty more to play and plenty more of horrible predictions and analysis here is one:
The Philadelphia 76ers are NBA Championship Pretenders.
Final 112-107: Nets (10-9) beat Celtics (13-5) Dinwiddie 32 Points, No Kyrie, Series tied 1-1
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