Monday, February 8: Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks
- Two teams currently showing two opposite trends in 2016. The Hawks are winning and the Magic are losing. This is the second half of a home-in-home series between these two clubs and they have not disappointed so far. The Magic won the first game in Orlando on a buzzer-beater by Nikola Vucevic. The Hawks will be looking for revenge while the Magic will look to turn around their season and start a winning streak. I will pick the Hawks to win this one.
Tuesday, February 9: San Antonio @ Miami Heat
- Remember that memorable 2013 Finals and then that lopsided 2014 Finals? I’m pretty sure these two teams do. San Antonio is playing very well since their loss to Golden State and will look to continue that success in Miami. Miami has gotten its act together as of late too. This will probably end up being a low scoring game as both teams like to play in the half court. It will be a good one, but I will pick the Spurs to win on the road in South Beach.
Wednesday, February 10: Charlotte Hornets @ Indiana Pacers
- Two teams playing much better than last year. The Pacers are contending for a home court in the playoffs and Charlotte is competing for a spot in the playoffs, although they are a much improved team offensively due to the emergence of Kemba Walker as a go-to guy. Paul George is hoping to find his shot in this game in order to put behind his recent struggles. He will be facing, however, a tough defender in Nicolas Batum. My pick is Indiana at home. I am going to call for a high-scoring affair since both teams like to spread the floor and get up and down the court.
Wednesday, February 10: Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
- Could this be the team that stays pace with the Warriors’ small-ball lineup? They have done well when Ariza and Smith play down low, but are they as good at playing together as Golden State? My guess at this point is no, because the Dubs are playing at a level only seen a few times and are pretty much unbeatable at home. I will go with the Dubs in this one. I just don’t see Houston sticking with them for a whole game.
Wednesday, February 10: Los Angeles Clippers @ Boston Celtics
- I’m looking forward to this one. The Clippers are finding ways to win without Blake Griffin, which is proving to be a great omen for them going into the rest of the season. The Celtics, meanwhile, are continuing to impress me with their play of late, which included a big upset last week in Cleveland. Isaiah Thomas and Chris Paul will be a good battle, while Avery Bradley will have to try and keep J.J. Redick in check. I am picking the Celtics to win at home and further impress the rest of the league.