NBA Game Previews for January 8th

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From the very start, this season is madness for the prediction of the results. The underdogs have won more games than the favorites, and teams that are supposed to play on a low amount of points are playing extremely efficient basketball. How will it be today – you can find out in my NBA Game Previews?

Phoenix Suns @ Detroit Pistons

I start my NBA Game Previews with this inter-conference encounter. The most effective defense in the NBA came to the Motor City to record a comfortable victory. The Detroit Pistons are looking very bad this season, and maybe they will end with the worst-ever NBA record (12 – 70, NJ Nets 2009/10). Besides Jerami Grant, who is having the best season of his career, all the other Pistons are weak. This game should be a blowout and maybe a chance for Devin Booker to set up a new career-high in points. If you are looking for a fantasy option, any player from the Suns starting five is a fine choice. On the opposite, Grant will do his job, and maybe Derric Rose will join him. A margin will be high, but I’d rather not predict the number of points because this season is crazy, and everything is possible.

Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics

Led by Bradley Beal, the Wizards came to TD Garden to try not to lose. However, that will be a difficult task. They have the second-worst defense in the Eastern Conference, fourth in the entire league. Even though the Celtics are weakened by the injuries of two PGs, Payton Pritchard showed that he can be a useful option, even the starting point guard when it comes to a need. The rookie is playing well, and he will be the main candidate with Tyrese Haliburton to win a ROY award. Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on their level from the start of this campaign, and they don’t intend to stop. It is expected that the Celtics will win at home, but if their top two guys go low with shooting percentage and Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook give us another monstrous display, every outcome is on the cards.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ New York Knicks

A tilt between two teams that have surprised us all many times this season. With an easy win against the title contenders and playoff participants and unexpected losses to the underdogs, the anticipation of the final result of this game is very difficult. Julius Randle and RJ Barret are indeed leading the league in the minutes played, but they don’t always give us the stats that are expected from them. On the other hand, the only constant player is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Still, the others managed to step up occasionally. Will it be Luguentz Dort or Darius Bazley or someone else – no one knows. The home team surely has the odds on their side, but if they win, the margin won’t be big. 

Charlotte Hornets @ New Orleans Pelicans

An encounter of two young teams, in which either can win and even the difference could be extremely big. Both squads are fully rostered and motivated, and both have amazing attacking potential and superior individuals. For the Pelicans, the leading role is changing depends on the opponent, but you can expect Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram to step up on offense any time. Under the rim, Steven Adams is alpha and omega. Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe are helping him with pick and rolls. While the home side has both sides of the court covered, the Hornets are focusing on piercing the defense of the rivals. Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and even Devonte Graham can change the game in their favor by scoring 20+ points almost every day. The Pelicans should this, but Charlotte has its qualities as well.

Orlando Magic @ Houston Rockets

For the next game in my NBA Game Previews, I chose an inter-conference duel. The Orlando Magic have started a season in a great way, with six wins in eight games. Unfortunately, Markelle Fultz has torn an ACL, and for him, this season is over. How will it affect the Magic – we will see throughout the campaign. While the visitors need to put all their hopes in backup PG Cole Anthony, the Rockets are fully rostered for the first time in a while. They play beautiful basketball, and James Harden doesn’t need to carry the whole team by himself. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins show why they used to be All-Star players. Even though analysis and the odds say that the home team will win tonight, I think the result will be the opposite. The Magic will win, and the number of points will be at least 230.

Brooklyn Nets @ Memphis Grizzlies

It’s a back-to-back game for the Nets. Last night, they won the duel over the 76ers without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, which means that they don’t put all their hopes in the two. Tonight, both of them will be missing again, so we will have an exciting contest again. An overtime win for the Grizzlies was the result last time they met, but that’s the game in which they have lost Ja Morant to an injury. This time, both organizations are in the same situation, and I expect the corresponding outcome. Victory for the Grizzlies but not in the overtime and with a bigger amount of points for sure. Who will step up on both sides – we will see tonight.

Utah Jazz @ Milwaukee Bucks

After having a slow start, the Utah Jazz are back on track. Tonight they are facing the Bucks at their Fiserv Forum. While everyone is talking about Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton is having a great season. He is leading his team in dimes even though he is a small forward, and he is averaging 21.1 PPG while shooting 54.3% from the floor and 53.5% from downtown. Both crews have great rim protectors on their rosters; Rudy Gobert for Utah and Brook Lopez for Milwaukee, so I assume it will be a low number of buckets, and the play for both sides will be based on two-point shots. Tonight is the time for the Jazz to defeat a “big” opponent, and that’s how it will finish. Donovan Mitchell and co. will write down a victory.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors

A rematch of these teams. The last time, Kawhi Leonard played his first b2b game in four years, and the Clippers barely managed to defeat the weakened Warriors. Although Draymond Green came back and improved their defense, and Stephen Curry is on his level again, this time, the Clippers will win easily. I do not expect a blowout, but the margin should be at least 10 points. Paul George and Leonard will take their portion of shots, who will be more dominant, depends on shooting percentage. Just to mention, Curry is trending as a game-time call, and if he doesn’t play, a blowout is the only option here. Everything depends on the Warriors tonight, except the final result.

Chicago Bulls @ Los Angeles Lakers

After a surprising loss at Staples Center, the Lakers welcome the Chicago Bulls. Their key defender, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, has twisted his ankle and is questionable for tonight, but it is not such a handicap. It is well-known that LeBron James is not playing any defense throughout the regular season, but Anthony Davis in first and Horton-Tucker in the second unit will be enough to stop the Bulls. The only player worth mentioning on the visiting team is Zach LaVine. He will do his job as well as he can. However, he will not get much help from his teammates, most probably. I won’t predict the final result because it is obvious, but I would say that I think this will be a shootaround game where both teams will score a huge amount of points. They will maybe even break some NBA records.

Toronto Raptors @ Sacramento Kings

For the final clash of my NBA Game Previews, I will write about the last duel on tonight’s schedule. Just three weeks ago, no one thought that the Toronto Raptors will have just one win after seven games. There is no obvious and particular reason for their bad showings, but something has to change. They will start winning, or Nick Nurse, the reigning COY, can pack himself and go. I suppose that this duel at Golden 1 Center will be the game of decisions, and the Raptors will win it. Although the Kings are playing very well and have the same amount of wins and losses (4-4), they have ups and downs, even in different quarters of the same game. I think the Raptors will get an edge thanks to their solid defense and will start a winning streak tonight.

We are nearly at the end of week three. It passed through in a blink of an eye. You still have time to catch up if you missed a few games. You’re welcome to read my NBA Game Previews and stay well informed. Cheers.

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