Picks for the NBA Week of December 13th
PICKS FOR THE NBA WEEK OF DECEMBER 13th – The NBA season has been wildly unpredictable: The New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies are on top of the Western Conference, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sacramento Kings also look like a playoff team, and the Indiana Pacers look good until they trade away Myles Turner and Buddy Hield (if they do).
With each week that goes by, uncertainty continues to strike in a league full of predictability over the past few years.
This week’s slate of games has some eye-popping matchups, and here are a few quick predictions for the remainder of the week.
Wednesday, December 13
Game of the night: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Dallas Mavericks
Pick: Donovan Mitchell against Luka Doncic is always fun to watch, but this will be the first such matchup since Mitchell was traded away from the Utah Jazz. Dallas is a tough team at American Airlines Center, and Luka has been nuclear in the past few games (what else is new?)
The Mavs take this one, but this is a back-and-forth contest that is decided by just a few points.
Thursday, December 14
Game of the night: Milwaukee Bucks vs Memphis Grizzlies
Pick: This slate has just four games, but there are three matchups that are worth watching. The other two besides Bucks-Grizzlies is Suns-Clippers and Pelicans-Jazz. However, Ja Morant going against Giannis Antetokounmpo is a superstar matchup that should be thrilling to see.
The Grizzlies are right behind the Pelicans for the Western Conference as of Tuesday, and Ja Morant (27.7 PPG) and Desmond Bane (24.7 PPG) have become a polarizing guard combination. Memphis is 6th in the NBA in points scored (116) and 1st in total rebounds (48.7).
The Bucks have arguably the best player in the NBA in Giannis (31.1 PPG and 11.3 rebounds) and have seen Jrue Holiday continue to perform well. If Holiday can limit Morant, the Bucks should have a much easier time getting this done, but the Grizzlies have just two losses at home all season long.
This is a difficult matchup to predict, but the Bucks escape Memphis with a tight victory.
Friday, December 15
Game of the night: Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers
Pick: Whenever these two teams meet, the games are fantastic. The way Anthony Davis and LeBron James have been playing lately is out of this world, and even an MVP player such as Nikola Jokic will have a tough time containing AD.
The Lakers have turned things around since a disastrous start to the year, and the game being played in LA helps the purple and gold get another victory. Jokic scores 30, but AD and LeBron each score 30 and the Lakers win a nationally televised game on Friday evening.
Saturday, December 16
Game of the night: New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns
These two teams made headlines a week ago after Zion Williamson threw down a monster dunk with the clock winding down. Then the next game the Pelicans won again. The third matchup in the matter of a week and a half should set the stage for an entertaining, drama-filled game in Phoenix, but the Pelicans are one of the hottest teams in the NBA and win another game against the Suns.
Sunday, December 17
Game of the night: New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers
Sunday’s slate is the worst of the week, but the Pacers-Knicks game has the most appeal of them all. Both teams are flirting with that .500 mark and are hanging around in the Eastern Conference playoff standings early on. Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson have become a formidable duo and former Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton has found a new home in Indiana to lead the Pacers in scoring (19.4 PPG).
Trade candidates Buddy Hield and Myles Turner continue to improve their stock, and rookie Bennedict Mathurin has been electric, averaging 17.6 PPG. This is a complete toss-up of a game, but I’ll roll with the Pacers in another tight contest.