Nine games graced the NBA schedule on Monday night to get the new week going, but fans couldn’t know the ridiculous night they were in for. The Cavaliers lost to the Nuggets at home, the Rockets got blown out by the Grizzlies and the Hornets got trounced by the Mavericks at home. Through it all, we still posted a solid 5-4 mark (77-39 on the year).
Let’s see if we can’t shoot for perfection on a quiet night, with just four games on the docket:
Lakers @ Hawks
The Lakers are dreadful at 1-9, while they enter Atlanta with zero road wins on the year. Despite the Hawks not boasting a great defense, there’s not much reason to start picking the Lakers, unless you’re just chasing bad odds in hopes for a big payday. That actually isn’t the worst idea, but Atlanta is the clear favorite at home, straight up.
Pick: Hawks 111, Lakers 105
Knicks @ Bucks
Milwaukee hosts a red hot Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday night, but he comes in with a Knicks team that has just one win in their last seven tries. Milwaukee is a solid 3-1 on their home floor and tend to win games that they control the pace of. With New York’s offense still not perfected, this could be Milwaukee’s game to lose.
Pick: Bucks 101, Knicks 97
Thunder @ Jazz
OKC is still without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka still pack a solid punch and the Thunder have been relying on their defense to keep most of their games close. They’ll need more of it come Monday night, when they travel to Utah to take on a pretty efficient Jazz offense. Utah could have issues due to their troubles on the defensive side, but OKC’s offense has been touch and go and they’re just 1-5 away from home. Utah hosts and gets the slight edge.
Pick: Jazz 101, Thunder 98
Pelicans @ Kings
New Orleans brings a very solid offense into Sacramento tonight, where the Kings are 3-1 on the season. DeMarcus Cousins and co. aren’t playing great defense but they’re at home and can easily run with the Pellies.
Pick: Kings 105, Pelicans 104