After the hangover of the Super Bowl selections, I take a look at a few of the teams that I think will come out on top in the NBA, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Atlanta Hawks
12:30AM (UK), 2nd February
Despite falling to the 76ers and the Detroit Pistons, the LA Lakers scrapped a victory against the Boston Celtics. Antony Davis seems to be struggling on all ends of the court, his 27 points the other night at the TD garden were the highest of any of his teammates that night. Hopefully the Brow can take that momentum of a big game into tonight’s matchup. The problem for the Lakers will be to stop Clint Capela on the offensive side of the ball. With Marc Gasol finding himself in early foul trouble in many games, leaves the Lakers playing small ball for most of the game. If Gasol can stay out of foul trouble, I reckon the Lakers win by a handicap of -6.
Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans
1AM (UK), 2nd February
The home side are looking to ship perhaps two of their most creative players on the offensive side of the ball, which is a real head-scratcher for me, considering the team is currently filled with optimism and potential, for the future. Lonzo Ball and J.J Reddick can help the Pelicans beat the Kings, in what looks to be a 3-point shootout. Again, this will come down to the Sacramento Kings attempting to stop Steven Adams.
The Kings failed to stop Bam Adebayo, on their last outing against the Heat in a loss, where the Centre contributed with 18 points to help defeat the Kings. A similar path to victory for the Pels is outlined for them to duplicate, if they can get Adams going. I have the Pelicans beating the Kings and covering a handicap of -5.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Milwaukee Bucks
1AM (UK), 2nd February
The Portland Trail Blazers are the team that will cause the upset of the day in my opinion. Coming off the back of a Damian Lillard buzzer-beater is all the momentum you need, when coming up against a Milwaukee side which has had to rely on Giannis Antetokounmpo to carry the team to victory early on in the season. We’ve already witnessed what it takes to beat this bucks side. Collapse the defense in the paint, which stops the Greek Freak from being productive, then you will come out victorious against the side from the East. I’ve got the Trail Blazers coming out on top, but It will be a close call.