A 9 Game Slate On Monday Night, But What Game Should You Watch Tonight?
Serge Ibaka played his best game of the early season and he helped his new team defeat his old team 119-117 at the buzzer on Sunday night. LeBron James and Channing Frye helped the Cavaliers come back to hand Charlotte it’s 2nd straight 4th quarter defeat. Golden State scored 133 points in defeating the Suns, Denver lost their 4th straight game and Andrew Wiggins scored 47 in the Timberwolves blow out of the Lakers.
(My record so far: 4-1 Yesterday- 26-19 This Week- 22-17 Last Week and 48-36 Overall.)
Here is my method for breaking down the games on the daily calendar:
- Game Of The Night
- Games You Should Pay Attention To
- Not Bad, It Could Be Worse
- Watch Only If Your A Fan Of The Team Or Your Favorite Player Is Playing
Game Of The Night
Memphis vs Utah- 9pm
Memphis is a team that need a victory more than just about anyone in the entire league. A team that still is trying to find its way and it’s health in the early part of the season. They are coming off a loss to Milwaukee on Saturday that left Grizzlies fans scratching their heads. A team that has so much talent can’t seem avoid stretches of basketless basketball. Even Coach David Fitzdale admitted that problem “We had a lot of really rushed possessions with no detail.” Any team with Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph as it’s leading scorers should have problem getting baskets.
Utah enters the game flying high after beating the Miami Heat on Saturday. The Jazz are coming off a 4-1 east coast road trip and which starting Point Guard George Hill missed the majority of it with his thumb injury. But the Good News for Jazz fans is that Gordon Hayward returned last Sunday and looks better than ever. Since his return to the lineup, he’s averaging 24.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game. With him playing at a high level, the Jazz have elevated themselves up the Western Conference standings to this point.
Danny’s Key For A Grizzlies Victory- This is the type of game that Chandler Parsons needs to show up for. Memphis went 6-30 from the beyond the arc on Saturday and Parsons can fix that. He’s normally a underated shooter, Parsons has the size at 6 foot 10 inches to be able to shoot over Hayward or any defender that the Jazz can throw at him. Normally around a 16 point a game scorer, if he can get to that mark, then the Grizzlies can pull out the victory.
Danny’s Key For A Jazz Victory- If Hill misses another game, Dante Exum needs to come up big. Exum has not been the biggest statistical producer so far for the Jazz. But they need the Australian to come up big especially going against one of the better Point Guards in Conley. If he can give the Jazz at least 13 points and 5 assists against Conley, then Utah will earn their 8th win of the season.
Danny’s Prediction- Utah has been impressive so far with everything that has been going on. Hayward missed the opening 7 games and Hill stepped up, now Hill is out and Hayward and Rodney Hood have elevated their play. So tonight, if Hill returns they get both of their key players back and the Jazz should win this game at home. But even if Hill doesn’t return, Hayward’s 25 points and 8 rebounds should be enough to win. I got Utah 104-98
Games You Should Pay Attention To
Orlando vs Indiana- 7pm
Frank Vogel return to Indianapolis will be the main story line as he leads his new team to take on his former team in a game in which both teams need to win. The Magic are coming off a Serge Ibaka’s best game of his career last night against his former team in the Thunder. Before last night, the Magic were on a 3 game losing streak and they had scored 74 points at home against the Jazz on Friday night. But the effort last night could spark the Magic as they enter a key stretch of games after tonight, that are very winnable. They play the Pelicans, Mavericks, Bucks and Suns before Thanksgiving.
The Pacers enter tonight’s game at 4-6 and should have the services of Paul George back in the lineup. George, who is averaging 21.9 points per game, should give the Pacers a much-needed boost on offense. Even though the Pacers are averaging 108.4 points per game, they only could score 99 points without Paul on Friday in their loss to the Celtics. On the positive side, Monta Ellis has played his best basketball of the young season in the last few games. Ellis has shifted to coming off the bench and he had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists against the 76ers. Then he scored 15 on Saturday in the place of George. Now if he can go back to his role off the bench tonight and scores at least 16 points then the Pacers will win at home.
Danny’s Prediction- Indiana needs this game more than Orlando. The defense has to play a big role in a Pacers victory. Good news is that Orlando is one of the worst scoring offenses in the NBA and could be tired after such a hard fought game last night. I expect Miles Turner to go for a double-double and Jeff Teague scores 19 points and has 8 assists as the Pacers win at home. I like Indiana 103-96
Oklahoma City vs Detroit- 7:30pm
For some interesting reason the Detroit Pistons have been a weak spot for the seemly indestructible Russell Westbrook. Westbrook only averages 17.3 points and 6.3 assists in 14 career games against the Pistons and he hopes to end that problem in Auburn Hills tonight. The Thunder are coming off last night’s heartbreaking loss to their former teammate (Serge Ibaka) and his new team the Orlando Magic. Russell did everything he could to win the game (41 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists) but couldn’t make the game winning shot at the end (He shot 14 for 21 from the floor). They are going to need another solid game from Victor Oladipo in order to beat the Pistons. He has to be more aggressive in order to help take some of the pressure off of Westbrook.
Detroit finally ended their road woes on Saturday against the Denver Nuggets. Stan Van Gundy’s group lead jumped out to a 15 point 1st quarter lead and they never looked back. Tobias Harris scored 19 points and the Pistons ended their road trip at 1-3. Now they go home where they are undefeated on the season at 4-0 and look to keep their mark perfect on their home floor. The Pistons have won all of their home games by at least 10 points and they also beat the Thunder by 6 at home last year.
Danny’s Prediction- Westbrook has to be angry after losing another game to a former teammate. He now goes to a place where he struggles and if there is anytime to have a breakout game it’s tonight. Westbrook goes for at least 30 points and 10 assists and Andre Roberson steps up tonight and goes for 15 points and 6 rebounds and the Thunder win on the road. I got the Thunder by the score of 99-94.
Not Bad, It Could Be Worse
Dallas vs New York- 7:30pm
A game that had interesting written all over it took a bit of a step back when Dirk Nowitzki was ruled out of the game and Tuesday against Boston, due to the birth of his 3rd child and his sore achilles. They were counting on his offense to help jump-start one of the league’s worst ones as they take on the Knicks in the Garden tonight. Even though Harrison Barnes is averaging 22.6 points per game, the team is only scoring 97.1 points per game (26th in the league). The Knicks come into the game trying to end their current 2 game losing streak. Good News for Dallas fans is that the Knicks have only had one game where the opposing team didn’t score 100 points this season.
Danny’s Prediction- New York is playing their 3 game in 4 nights and Dallas is a bit short-handed (Nowitzki and Deron Williams will not play), so this is the perfect spot to get a victory. The Knicks need to get some scoring help from their bench in order to win. I expect Carmelo Anthony to score 28 points and the Knicks bench to score 35 points in their victory tonight. Knicks should win 102-93.
Brooklyn vs LA Clippers- 10:30pm
Brooklyn is 4-5 right now and actually playing good basketball of late. There defense stole the show against Phoenix and they shown that they can score points. They are averaging 106.3 points per game, but their opponent tonight will be poised to make sure that they won’t come close to that total. The Clippers enter the game with the NBA’s stingest defense (allowing 91.5 points per game) and the scoring over 107 points a game. So that means that the Clippers are winning their games by 15.1 points per game which also leads the NBA in scoring difference.
Danny’s Prediction- Brooklyn won’t come close to scoring that 106.3 points tonight, but they will allow at least the same number of points per game (The Nets are averaging 107.6 per game.) Paul and Griffin both get double-doubles and Austin Rivers leads the bench with 16 points. The Clippers should win easily but the score will reflect a game closer than the score shows. Clippers 112-96 winners at home tonight.
Watch Only If Your A Fan Of The Team Or Your Favorite Player Is Playing
Boston vs New Orleans- 8pm
This game could get ugly especially if the Pelicans are without Anthony Davis tonight. Davis, who leads the Pelicans in scoring, rebounding and block shots, fell and appeared to injure his back late in the 3rd quarter. The Pelicans who were down by a point at the time, fell behind by 13 before Davis’s return and ended up losing 126-99 to the Lakers. Boston comes into New Orleans fresh off defeating the Pacers in their last game. Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley led the Celtics to victory and they should be able to take advantage of a Pelicans team who top scorer in their starting lineup outside of Davis (He had 34) on Friday night was E’Twan Moore who had 7 points.
Danny’s Prediction- Davis would be considered one of the top 3 candidates for MVP right now if he team would be even close to .500 right now. But Alvin Gentry’s squad won’t come close in this one tonight. Jaylen Brown will out play fellow rookie Buddy Hield and Marcus Smart will end up with at least 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in this blowout victory. Boston should roll 106-93.
Philadelphia vs Houston- 8pm- NBA TV
Houston comes into tonight’s game not trying to overlook the 1-8 76ers at home. We all know about James Harden and his insane stat line that he’s been putting up so far, but they have to find the defense from the team if there are going to a contender in the West. One of the worst defensive teams in the NBA should get a boost when Patrick Beverley returns this week. But since they won’t have him tonight Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer have to take charge in protecting the perimeter for the Rockets. Philadelphia are still playing Jahil Oakfor and Joel Embiid limited minutes and neither one will play above 25 minutes again tonight.
Danny’s Prediction- The Rockets will get some much-needed rest tonight. Harden and the rest of the starters should be done by the end of the 3rd quarter and the Rockets will cruse at home by 15. James finishes with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists in their 102-85 victory over Philadelphia.
Miami vs San Antonio- 8:30pm
Miami travels to San Antonio tonight trying to get back into the win column after losing their last 4 in a row. The Heat will be without Goran Dragic again tonight and will rely on Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson to fill in for the injured star point guard. Good news is Hassan Whiteside has had a double-figure rebounding game in every single game this year. The bad news is that the Spurs will finally be able to play Tony Parker and Danny Green together for the 2nd time this season. The key for the Spurs is can Pau Gasol continue to build on his 15 point, 7 rebound and 6 assist game the last time out against the Rockets.
Danny’s Prediction- Miami is struggling and San Antonio is the wrong place in order to fix that problem. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge for a combined 50 points and 20 rebounds and the Spurs win easily 109-100.