Excerpts from Max Max’s Notes:
Nets at Bulls
The Nets are looking to bookend a 5-game road trip with a win over Chicago today. Brooklyn has lost 3 straight games and sits at 4-7 on the season. The Nets will be without Caris LaVert who is having thumb surgery. The Bulls are 4-8 and are coming off a loss two days ago to the Bucks. Both teams are struggling to find consistency and are playing below their talent levels.
Bucks at Pacers
The Pacers are playing in a back to back after losing to Houston last night while the Bucks got to enjoy a Friday night off. Milwaukee is coming off a win over the Bulls and now set sights on another division opponent. The Pacers have done well defending against teams that shoot a lot of 3’s. And Milwaukee shoots a lot of 3’s. But they also have this guy names Giannis who is averaging 30 points per game and can score from most places on the court.
Hornets at Knicks
The Hornets came from 14 points down last night to beat the Pistons, breaking a losing streak. The Knicks are coming off another win over Dallas. In their previous wins this season, the Knicks have followed up with blowouts and losing streaks. Including a bad loss to the Cavs after beating Dallas the first time. I hate that the Hornets are in a back to back but I like them getting points here.
Rockets at Timberwolves
The Rockets are coming off a win last night over the Pacers that have put their win streak at 6. Jimmy Harden is averaging 39 points and 8 assists per game. But that’s not going to be enough with the injuries piling up for Houston and Russell Westbrook expected to sit out tonight.
Pelicans at Heat
Both teams coming off wins on Thursday. Jrue Holiday player spoiler to Paul George’s return. He’s pretty much the only body that the Pelicans have our there right now. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Jahlil Okafor all have missed time due to injuries. The Heat are dealing with a few injuries themselves but the biggest thing plaguing them is giving up big leads. So you need to worry about them and big spreads. But overall they are 8-2-1 against the spread this year so they are finding ways to cover but that’s bound to catch up with them.
Raptors at Mavs
The Raptors have been good this year. I expected them to be a playoff team in the East, but they are showing more than that. They’ve won 4 of 5 with their only blemish a West Coast game against their old buddy Kawhi. They continue their Western Conference road trip tonight in Dallas. The Mavs are trying to figure things out after getting beat by the Knicks. The Raptors play great defense and have limited star players to less shots. They will focus on Doncic tonight and dare Porzingis to beat them.
Blazers at Spurs
Two teams that are underperforming and finding themselves on the outside looking into the Western Conference playoffs picture. The Blazers are looking for depth and scoring and are going to give Carmelo Anthony a shot. The “last chance” contract seems to be working so far with a more humbled Dwight Howard so let’s see if Melo can do the same. He won’t be there until Tuesday at the earliest so tonight the Blazers need to win with what they have. The Spurs are coming off a loss last night in Orlando and an overnight flight to San Antonio is probably not what they want before a back to back game.
Hawks at Clippers
Here it is. The Kawhi and PG13 show starts tonight. Of course, now tonight is the first game of a back to back as they play the Lakers tomorrow. The NBA would probably rather have Leonard and George sit out tonight and be ready for tomorrow. For Atlanta, it’s increasingly clear that right now, it’s Meth Curry and what. The Hawks are losing a lot of double-digit games.
Hurricanes at Wild
Let’s see if Minnesota can beat a team not named the Coyotes. Both of the Wild’s recent wins have been over the tired Arizona team and now they play a tough Carolina team who are coming off a big win over the Sabres. The Wild are 4-1-1 at home but have only won consecutive games once this season.
Capitals at Bruins
Washington has lost 2 of 3 including a big loss last night to a very good Canadians team. The Bruins are coming off a much-needed win from last night over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. This game should be a good one. Both teams are Stanley Cup caliber clubs and match up very close statistically.