NBA Previews W/C 13/11 : It's Celtics V Warriors!
Event Venue: N/A, N/A. BT Sport.See Stats
The NBA season is starting to heat up with some familiar names at the top of both the Eastern and Western Conferences, but the Cleveland Cavaliers still sit outside the playoff picture in the east as a .500 side after 14 games. While LeBron James and co. try to get back on track, the Kyrie Irving led Boston Celtics are killing it on a 12-game unbeaten streak. The irony, huh? Let's take a look at the fixtures in store for this week:
Tuesday - Raptors @ Rockets
While a lot of attention has gone to the Celtics for their tremendous run - and rightfully so - you could be forgiven for not noticing that Houston have won six on the bounce. Although Chris Paul is injured, James Harden has reverted back to being a point guard and facilitating for the likes of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson at the three-point line. They face a Toronto side that finds themselves in the usual dizzy heights of the eastern playoffs due to the scoring of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Expect Harden and the Rockets to win this one.
Wednesday - 76ers @ Lakers
Both sides are technically in the rebuilding phase, but Philadelphia are now contesting for a playoff spot and they defeated the L.A. Clippers last time out. Now, they face the supposed weaker team in L.A. with Joel Embiid look pretty unstoppable at center right now. With Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, the 76ers are just more advanced than the young Lakers right now who feature Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball - now the youngest ever player to record a triple-double. Expect Philly to grab the win.
Thursday - Warriors @ Celtics
What a huge game! Boston have won 12 in a row while Golden State have won seven in a row themselves. Most people would have you believe this is what the NBA Finals will look like come next summer, but LeBron James will have something to say about that. Boston has rallied since Gordon Hayward suffered his horrific leg break and Kyrie Irving has been thriving as the main man. However, with the Warriors so deep behind Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and many others, Golden State will win a shoot-out.
Friday - Clippers @ Cavaliers
Neither side will be happy with where they are sitting in their respective conferences right now, but both franchises have the players to sort things out. For the Clippers, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan failed to dominate Joel Embiid against the 76ers and this time out, the big men are Tristan Thompson and LeBron. The Cavs are just playing horribly right now and they would be in major trouble without the best player in the world. Only because L.A. are playing worse will I go with the Cavs.
Saturday - Jazz @ Magic
Utah is obviously a good side with probably the best defensive center in the league in Rudy Gobert, but losing Hayward has set their development back. Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum provide an exciting backcourt, but they are lacking a true scorer. Orlando have surprised everyone in the east this season with forward Aaron Gordon coming into his own. They have lost their last two games, but their last outing against the Golden State Warriors was tight until the end and coach Frank Vogel has got them playing with confidence.
- Cleveland are still out of the playoffs despite returning to a .500 team
- Boston are currently on a 12-game unbeaten run
- Atlanta and Dallas have the worst records in the NBA with 2-12
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