Stephen Curry and the Warriors are back to defend their title for the 15th time on Sunday, much like a prized fighter in a boxing ring. An actual title defense will only happen if they can make it back to the NBA Finals again, but so far in the young 2015-16 NBA season, the Warriors have taken on 14 challengers and not a single one could keep them on the mat.
Curry and co. will face one of their easiest tests of this early run, as they head to Denver to battle the Nuggets. Denver can certainly run with just about anyone offensively, but a lack of defensive prowess could have this one over early. The Warriors are the top story – per usual – but there are actually better games on the docket and there is a lot to bet on tonight. Let’s see which way you may want to lean by breaking down and picking all six contests:
Raptors @ Clippers
Toronto recently ended their second slide of the young season, but now they have to turn right back around and take on the Clippers. Los Angeles is also struggling, but they haven’t been very healthy in the early going. With both Chris Paul and J.J. Redick back in the saddle, the Clips should look to end a two-game skid and get a big win at home.
Pick: Clippers 109, Raptors 104
Suns @ Pelicans
New Orleans just got a huge win over the Spurs in their last game and if that was a sign of things to come, this talented squad could be one to look out for. They’re just starting to get healthy, too, as Tyreke Evans could be back in early December. Unfortunately they’re still under-manned here and just two wins on the year tells you how shaky things really are. The Suns, meanwhile, are kind of playing out of their minds.
Pick: Suns 104, Pellies 101
Celtics @ Nets
Boston continues to put the clamps down defensively, while they just took down the Nets in their last game. Brooklyn got blown out and while they’ll have a better shot on their home floor, they’re clearly the inferior team.
Pick: Celtics 101, Nets 94
Mavs @ Thunder
Dallas has been surprisingly very good, behind a revitalized Dirk Nowitzki and an oddly solid defense. The Mavs are only going to get better, too, as both Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons round back into form. That’s great, but Dallas is in OKC trying to take down the Thunder tonight. I’m betting their nice six-game winning streak gets snapped.
Pick: Thunder 106, Mavs 104
Warriors @ Nuggets
Golden State hasn’t lost this season and the Nuggets can’t defend down low or on the outside. If this isn’t a blowout, I’ll be shocked.
Pick: Warriors 114, Nuggets 98
Blazers @ Lakers
The final game of the night represents a decent chance for two bad teams to get a win. The Lakersare just 2-10 and have dropped their past two, but they’re at least at home and should have Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup. It’s debatable if that’s really a good thing these days, but against a 5-9 Portland squad that is just 3-7 in their last 10, it could matter. Overall, Portland is the better team and should get the win.
Pick: Blazers 103, Lakers 101