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Matthew Wadleigh: Expert Picks for the NBA

Matthew Wadleigh: Expert Picks for the NBA

MATTHEW WADLEIGH: EXPERT PICKS FOR THE NBA – The NBA All-Star Break is approaching, as is the NBA trade deadline, and moves have already been made. Rui Hachimura was traded to the Lakers, and other names have een floated around as trade season begins to heat up. 

Nonetheless, here are a few games to watch for the upcoming week. 

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Thursday, January 26 

Knicks at Celtics 

This is the second meeting of the season between these teams, and the Celtics won the first by 15 points. The Knicks have been hit or miss, and they saw a four-game losing streak end with a victory over the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, the Knicks have to travel to Boston – which is a tough lace to play. 

It is worth noting that Boston has lost two straight (to Orlando and Miami). But, the Celtics won nine straight before that and are tough to beat at home. The Celtics win by a lot. 

Prediction: Celtics win in a blowout 

Mavericks at Suns 

The Mavs have had a rough month, winning just four games and coming off two straight losses. The most rcent loss to the Wizards isn’t good by any means, and Luka Doncic’s 41 points and 15 rebounds weren’t enough to get the victory. 

The Suns have won four in a row and still don’t have Devin Booker in the lineup. A couple of weeks ago, we would’ve smashed the Mavs in this situation, but things have changed. Take the Suns in a close game in Phoenix. 

Prediction: Suns in a nail-biter 

Friday, January 27

Cavaliers at Thunder – Upset Alert!

This is the upset pick of the week. The Cavaliers are well above .500 and playing like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, they have shown signs of weakness lately, including a loss to Minnesota and Utah. 

As for Oklahoma City, over the last couple of weeks they have victories over Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Indiana, and Denver – that’s impressive. This young team could even flirt with a playoff spot, and they are a difficult team to play in OKC. The Thunder win the game as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander explodes once again. 

Prediction: Oklahoma City to win 

Saturday, January 28 

Nuggets at 76ers 

This might be the best matchup of the entire week. Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic face off in a battle of MVP-worthy big men. Denver is on top of the Western Conference and Philadelphia is right behind the Celtics for the top spot in the Eastern Confernce. 

The Sixers have won five in a row entering Wednesday night, and Denver has put up an 11-2 record in January. Both teams are hot, and Jokic vs. Embiid is going to be worth watching. These teams haven’t played yet this season, but Philly has home-court advantage. Let’s roll with the Sixers by a couple of points in a very close game. 

Prediction: Sixers in a close one 

Sunday, January 29 

Pelicans at Bucks 

It’s too bad Zion Williamson isn’t healthy, because Giannis vs. Zion would’ve been a fun battle. The Pelicans are getting Brandon Ingram back (he hasn’t played since November), but it remains to be seen how limited he will be for the time being. 

Milwaukee put up an eye-popping 150 points against the Pistons on Monday night – yes, 150! If Zion were healthy, the Pelicans would have more of a chance, but the Bucks win this game by double figures in Milwaukee. 

Prediction: Milwaukee by double digits 


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