Thursday night was a fun night of NBA action despite seeing Wesley Matthews go down, as we went 1-1 (bringing our season record to 523-268) but it ultimately holds nothing to what Friday night could be. Tonight we get a fully stuffed 12-game slate, and if we’ve learned anything from 10+ game nights, they’re a whole lot of fun. They’re a little more difficult to call correctly, as craziness tends to hit us hard on the more packed nights. We’ll still try to call the games the best we can, so let’s dive right into another chaotic night of NBA action:
Bulls @ Pacers
Chicago got a nice win last night but will enter Indiana pretty tired. That could spell trouble given the fact that the Pacers have been playing pretty well and come into the night riding a three-game winning streak.
Pick: Pacers 101, Bulls 98
Kings @ Magic
It’s the battle of centers as DeMarcus Cousins and Nikola Vucevic go at it in Orlando. Neither of these teams play much defense, so we can expect a good amount of points, while Orlando is tougher to roll with given their four-game losing skid.
Pick: Kings 104, Magic 102
Jazz @ 76ers
Utah has turned it on ever since the All-Star break and will go into Philly as winners of seven of their last 10. The Sixers got enormous efforts out of Isaiah Canaan and Nerlens Noel in their last outing but they’re not consistent enough to get past Utah’s defense.
Pick: Jazz 97, Sixers 90
Heat @ Wizards
Miami seems to be rounding in playoff form at the right time (6-4 in last 10), while the Wiz have been falling apart the past two weeks. Washington could easily figure things out at home, but the Heat have all of the momentum.
Pick: Heat 103, Wizards 97
Raptors @ Hornets
Charlotte hosts Toronto on a hot streak (three straight wins), while the Raptors are struggling again as losers of six of their last 10. Kyle Lowry is due back tonight, though, and could be just the jump start the Raps need.
Pick: Raptors 101, Hornets 99
Cavaliers @ Hawks
Cleveland is the latest team to have to head into ATL and try to take down the league’s best team. The Hawks have a brand new winning streak rolling (5 in a row) and are a formidable 28-4 on their home floor. The Cavs can certainly take them down, but it’s not the best bet in the world.
Pick: Hawks 104, Cavs 102
Celtics @ Pelicans
Anthony Davis returned in a big way the other night, dropping 39 points in a big Pelicans win. He’ll likely dominate the Celtics weak interior defense in another Pellies win.
Pick: Pelicans 106, Celtics 99
Pistons @ Rockets
James Harden has been an absolute beast and Houston is a tough task to handle at home. Reggie Jackson can be explosive but he and Detroit’s bigs will have their work cut out for them tonight.
Pick: Rockets 106, Pistons 100
Suns @ Nets
Phoenix tries to run the Nets out of the gym in Brooklyn tonight, in what should be a solid matchup. Brooklyn is pretty weak at home for some reason, so if the Suns can hit their shots they should win in a shootout.
Pick: Suns 108, Nets 104
Lakers @ Grizzlies
Memphis has dropped a few winnable games (at home, no less) lately, so they probably know they need to take down the Lakers on their home floor tonight. This one shouldn’t be close.
Pick: Grizz 109, Lakers 92
Nuggets @ Spurs
Denver has played well for the most part since canning Brian Shaw, but the Spurs have picked up their defensive intensity lately and should be a rough ticket for the Nugs in San Antonio.
Pick: Spurs 103, Nuggets 98
Mavericks @ Warriors
Dallas caps the night in Golden State, where the Splash Brothers will be waiting to go off behind the arc. The Mavs could be worn out after a loss on Thursday night, while the well rested Warriors are already impossible to take down (25-2) on their home floor.
Pick: Warriors 113, Mavs 108