NBA Preview and Predictions: November 2
NBA Preview and Predictions
Tonight is a full schedule of NBA action as 10 games are taking place. Here is a look at three of the most intriguing ones.
Rockets (2-2) @ Knicks (1-2)
These teams both came into this season hoping to prove that last season was a fluke and that they can be better.
The Rockets made the decision to move James Harden to the point guard position and that has proven a good decision.
Harden is averaging almost a triple-double through four games (32.3 PPG, 11.8 APG, 7.3 RPG). If this is a precursor to the potential his season could have, he may become an MVP.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, they are not getting a lot of contribution from their bench players. They are providing 29.4 PPG as a unit out of the Rockets’ 108.3 PPG.
The Knicks on the other hand, have their big-3 providing very well for them.
Carmelo Anthony is averaging 21.0 PPG. Kristaps Porzingis is adding 18.3 PPG. While Derrick Rose is averaging 16.3 PPG.
The other big addition, Joakim Noah, is leading the team in both rebounds and assists (9.3 RPG, 6.0 APG).
The deciding factor in tonight’s matchup will be whether or not the Knicks main players can outlast the great play of James Harden.
Prediction: Rockets 111 – Knicks 98
Bulls (3-0) @ Celtics (2-1)
The Bulls and Celtics get their first rematch from last week’s game.
The Bulls look to continue their undefeated start as they head to Boston.
The Bulls have five players averaging in the double-digits, three starters and two bench players.
Jimmy Butler is averaging 20.7 PPG right now, while shooting 50 percent from the field. Butler is also shooting 54.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Dwayne Wade is adding 16..0 PPG while shooting a crazy 55.6 percent from beyond the arc.
The Celtics look to avenge their lone loss to the Bulls with their guard combo of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley proving to be one of the best in the league.
Thomas and Bradley are combining for 46 PPG, 12 RPG, and 11.4 APG. They are also the only players on the team with Player Efficiency Ratings over 20.
The deciding factor in tonight’s game will be how well Boston plays without Al Horford. He will not play tonight as he is in concussion protocol.
Prediction: Bulls 105 – Celtics 99
Thunder (3-0) @ Clippers (3-0)
This game will provide one of these teams with their first loss of the season.
The Thunder are 3-0 and Russell Westbrook is already proving why OKC wanted to keep him. Westbrook has two triple-doubles in three games. His averages are insane so far (38.7 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 11.7 APG), but these numbers could be criticized as they have been posted against the Suns, Lakers, and 76ers.
The Clippers have a similar issue being levied against their 3-0 record. They at least played a very good Trail Blazers team in their opener.
Their big men, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, are having great seasons thus far. Both of them are averaging double-doubles right now.
Griffin is scoring 22.0 PPG and averaging 11.3 RPG.
Jordan is scoring 10.7 PPG and grabbing 13.0 RPG.
Chris Paul is not to be forgotten in all of that as he is on pace to lead the league in steals. He is also scoring 20.0 PPG.
This game is hard to decide as the Thunder have the advantage with Westbrook, but Griffin and Jordan cause matchup problems down low.
Prediction: Thunder 114 – Clippers 109
Malachi David is an NBA contributor for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter: @SportReportMD