After two days in a row where ten games took place, this is a day to put the break. Only five will be played on Monday. You can check them out in my new NBA Game Previews.
Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks
For the first game of the night, I chose the East Conference duel. A team with playoff aspirations, the Hawks, and the side that is one of the candidates for the conference bottom. To clear the dilemma about the winner – it will be the Hawks. Trae Young and John Collins will secure the victory already in the first half, I assume.
The Detroit Pistons, who entered the rebuilding process last season, will make an effort to resist in the first quarter, maybe the first half. With Blake Griffin as their only real attacking weapon and Jerami Grant, if he is in a good mood, they don’t have a chance. I suppose that difference will be at least a dozen points, maybe it will be a blowout.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Brooklyn Nets
It’s a B2B game for the Nets, and they are still on fire, but today’s opponent hasn’t come to lose. Memphis is coming to New York as they start a three-game road trip on the East. And for the first rival, they got a team that will attack the ring this season. The Grizzlies lost the first two games of the campaign against not so strong opponents. I don’t suspect that Ja Morant will search for the first win against Kyrie Irving. A proper showdown.
On the other hand, the Nets won’t let anyone stop them after the furious start of the season, especially at Barclays Center.
If both point guards are in a good mood and manage to just equalize their last season averages, (17.8 PPG and 7.3 APG for Morant, and 27.4 PPG and 6.4 APG for Kyrie) we will have a bunch of points regardless of the winner. If Durant plays as he knows and the Grizzlies defense doesn’t manage to slow him a bit, the number of points will be high for sure. The home team will get the victory.
Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder
I continue my NBA Game Previews with this Northwest Division clash. After a terrible loss at home, against maybe the biggest underdog in the Western Conference, the crew from Salt Lake City will try to get back on track.
If we take a look at last season, we will see that Utah had a 10th defensive rating and 1st RPG rating – it is clear that the visitors won’t score a lot of points. Every team will do their part, the Jazz will aggressively attack the playoffs, OKC will struggle.
Even though Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will aggressively play for the fantasy owners and his stat line, it is clear he can’t beat the Jazz alone. Unfortunately, no other player from the Thunder can step up, not because they are not good, just because of Utah’s sturdy defense.
Last time I was sure in Rudy Gobert’s rim-protecting and Bojan Bogdanovic’s three-point shot – the Jazz have lost a home game. And all that against the side not much better than the Thunder.
Houston Rockets @ Denver Nuggets
The second game of the season for Houston. They are playing without John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon again. The quarantine for those players ends after this one. Still, James Harden is on fire again. After a monstrous season opener (44 points and 17 assists), Harden will try to maintain terrorizing opposing defenses when he faces the Nuggets.
Denver, led by Nikola Jokic, who opened the season with a triple-double, has their way to deal with Houston and maybe cause some serious damage. Without a real defender, the Rockets are nearly powerless against Joker. Even when they manage to stop him, he will help his teammates to score.
This is a real playoff duel from last season, and I hope this season too. The amount of points depends on Harden’s mood and the winner depends on Nikola Jokic. I recommend you to watch this encounter.
Portland Trail Blazers @ LA Lakers
It’s Dame Time at Staples Centre.
It’s a playoff-worthy duel for sure, and I hope the Western Conference semifinals.
With last night’s career-high of 44 points, C.J. McCollum is in a proper mood. We saw last season what Lillard is capable of. Powered up with Carmelo Anthony, who will be motivated for playing against LeBron James, on the attacking side, and Robert Covington on defense, Portland got a real chance to beat the reigning champions.
As we all saw what Lillard can do, we all know who James is and what he has already done. Except for his skills and experience, he also has Anthony Davis on his side. These two, when the climate is good, are unstoppable. Both ways.
Attacking potential is infinite on both sides, the only question is will C.J. and Dame manage to penetrate the defensive wall of the Lakers? The answer to that question will be easy if you choose to watch this game.
There are many different supporters and fans of the NBA. Someone likes Miami or Boston, the other one likes Denver or Dallas. I, personally, root for a good basketball game.
Thank you for reading my NBA Game Previews.