Monday, January 18: Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers
- In a Christmas Day rematch, this should be another classic. The Kyrie and Steph battle will be the best one in my eyes, because Steph has been on a tear of late and Kyrie is the attacking type of point guard that can give Curry problems on defense. I think that will make a big difference as Cleveland is able to go small and matchup with the Dubs now with Thompson being a starter. I pick the Cavs in a close one.
Monday, January 18: Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Clippers
- Either a high-scoring affair or a defensive battle. It is hard to tell with these two teams these days. J.J. Redick will look to make James Harden work on defense since Redick runs off of what seems like a countless number of picks all game. Hopefully DeAndre Jordan will be fully healthy to take on Dwight Howard in the paint, while Patrick Beverly will look to slow CP3 down with his aggressive style of defense. My pick is the Clips in another close one.
Thursday, January 21: Atlanta Hawks @ Sacramento Kings
- I am looking forward to this game. The Hawks are starting to look like the team that topped the East last season while the Kings are starting to play like a team that could compete in the West. It will be an exciting game of matchups. Atlanta likes to move the ball and play a very fluid style, and Sacramento likes to get up and down the floor with Rondo and go to Cousins in the half court. I am going with the Kings in this one. I like the confidence I am seeing in their game and I think Cousins is starting to control his emotions and also get along with George Karl.
Friday, January 22: Miami Heat @ Toronto Raptors
- The Miami Heat are a team that plays like a title contender one night and then like a lottery-bound team the next. The Raptors are a team that is another early playoff exit from making some roster changes. These teams are very similar in their styles. They have attacking point guards, versatile wing players, stretch fours, and physical bruising big men. Toronto will look to attack Dragic (if he’s healthy) with Kyle Lowry and make Hassan Whiteside commit to helping, which will open up Valanciunas for dump offs. Miami will look to attack the weak interior Toronto defense with Wade and Bosh as the focal points. My pick is the Raptors in this one though.
Saturday, January 23: Milwaukee Bucks @ New Orleans Pelicans
- Two teams that probably won’t make the playoffs, but are capable of doing so if not for injuries. These are two of the bigger teams in the league in terms of positional size in the league. They can both play very good defense and put up bunches of points at the same time. It is an intriguing matchup, but the big question is who will guard Anthony Davis? My guess is that the Bucks will look to use their length to help keep Davis from attacking the rim and force him to be a jump-shooter. I will pick the Bucks to win this one.