NBA Preview and Predictions: October 28
We have made it to the first full weekend of NBA action. The next three days will have a combined 24 games. Tonight will have eight of those games. Here is a look at four of them.
NBA Preview and Predictions
Cleveland (1-0) @ Toronto (1-0) 6:00 CT ESPN
The Cavaliers head to Toronto for a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals. They opened their season with a 29-point victory over the Knicks.
The big-3 did their part to prove they are ready for another run at a title. LeBron posted a triple-double which included 14 assists.
Kevin Love contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds. Kyrie also led the team with 29 points. This team already looks scary.
The Raptors had themselves an almost equally impressive debut. DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points, while Jonas Valanciunas added 32 of his own.
The Raptors are going to have to move the ball around more this game if they are going to beat the Cavaliers. They only compiled 17 assists in a game that saw them score 109 points.
As good as both of these teams were in their first games, only one gives me faith that they can duplicate their performance, and that is the Cavaliers.
Prediction: Cavaliers 111 – Raptors 98
Pacers (1-0) @ Nets (0-1) 6:30 CT
The Pacers head to Brooklyn to try to continue their reemergence in the Eastern Conference.
An overtime victory over the Mavericks gave the pacers some slightly inflated stats, but it doesn’t take away from how impressive their offense was.
All five starters scored in double-digits, including three scoring over 20 points. Those were Jeff Teague (20), Paul George (25) and Myles Turner (30).
The performance that Myles Turner showed us could be what elevates the Pacers to an even higher level. In addition to his scoring, he added 16 rebounds and four blocks. If he can keep up even a 20 and 10 season, he could represent what Roy Hibbert could/should have been for the Pacers.
The Nets, despite a loss, had things that were impressive about their game.
Bojan Bogdanovic and Jeremy Lin combined for 39 points which was about all the Nets got from their starters.
The bench was the surprise in this game. Justin Hamilton, Joe Harris, and Sean Kilpatrick combined for 48 points. The loss they suffered was only five points, and it was at the hand of the Celtics who are a top-tier team.
If these teams can duplicate these performances, this should be a very intriguing matchup. It goes against what I think should win… but I am picking the Nets.
Prediction: Nets 107 – Pacers 104
Lakers (1-0) @ Jazz (0-1) 8:00 CT
The Lakers head into Salt Lake City to try improve to 2-0 under Coach Walton.
The Lakers managed to outlast the Rockets and James Harden in their opener, thanks to a huge performance off the bench by Jordan Clarkson.
He shot almost 70 percent from the field, and scored 25 points. D’Angelo Russell added another 20, while three others also posted double digits in scoring.
The Jazz come in off of a loss that was more of a finding themselves game.
With Gordon Hayward being injured, it allowed them to see where pieces would fall.
Joe Johnson and George Hill proved themselves by scoring 29 and 19 respectively.
Rodney Hood also scored 26 points of his own.
Rudy Gobert added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The area that let them down was the bench. The five players who came in off the bench combined for a measly 16 points. If the bench can’t be a better contributor tonight, the Lakers will come away victorious.
Prediction: Lakers 103 – Jazz 92
Warriors (0-1) @ Pelicans (0-1) 8:30 PM ESPN
Both of these teams enter tonight looking for their first wins after disappointing results in their openers.
The Warriors were throttled by the Spurs in their first game.
They got the production they could expect/needed out of Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, but the rest of the team was fairly quiet.
Solid defense by the Spurs seemed to get them out of their usual comfort zone.
They will look to find that tonight against a team that really is a one man show.
Anthony Davis set the scoring bar already for the season at 50. He also added 16 rebounds, seven steals, and four blocks.
Unfortunately, the rest of his team only added 52 points.
If the Pelicans do not find a legitimate second and third option, they will be an embarrassing team that is wasting a superstar’s career.
Prediction: Warriors 113 – Pelicans 93