MY NBA guesses were way off last weekend, but I managed to hit on the most of the others. To close out January it’s a full basketball only lineup with a dozen chances to build my forever growing correct guesses.
Last Sunday Picks: 5 – 4
Overall: 438 – 328
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Milwaukee Bucks (25-22) at Chicago Bulls (18-31)
THE Bucks are sitting just inside the playoff picture with two straight wins since firing Jason Kidd. Don’t let Chicago’s record fool you though, they can, and will cause an upset.
Verdict: Bulls W
Phoenix Suns (17-32) at Houston Rockets (34-13)
THESE two teams’ records, however, tell us all we need to know. Unless Devin Booker pours in 60+ (which isn’t impossible) this will be a Suns L.
Verdict: Rockets W
Image from slamonline.com
LA Clippers (24-24) at New Orleans Pelicans (27-21)
A few days ago if you asked me who would have won this I would have chosen the Pels with confidence. Unfortunately, as life begins for NOLA without DeMarcus Cousins, who busted his Achilles in their last match, I’m not so sure.
Verdict: Clippers W
Detroit Pistons (22-25) at Cleveland Cavaliers (28-19)
CLEVELAND escaped with a win against the Pacers the other night and if they really want to turn things around they need to demolish Detroit. A solid defensive and offensive showing from the Cavs is likely.
Verdict: Cavaliers W
Los Angeles Lakers (19-29) at Toronto Raptors (32-15)
LA is riding a four-game winning streak into their trip north of the border. I’m sure they are interested to see how they measure up against another East powerhouse after beating Boston a few nights ago. Spoiler alert, they should have stayed home.
Verdict: Raptors W
Image from raptorsrapture.com
Philadelphia 76ers (24-21) at Oklahoma City Thunder (29-20)
OKC seems to have found the secret sauce that has led to seven wins in a row. A season-ending injury to defensive stalwart Andre Roberson might change things and their first test comes against a formidable Sixers squad. This is probably the best match on offer all Sunday so don’t miss it.
Verdict: Thunder W
Sacramento Kings (15-33) at San Antonio Spurs (32-19)
DESPITE performing below their usual standard the Spurs are still in a pretty good spot thanks to their early season success. A meeting with the Kings is just what they need to start building consistency.
Verdict: Spurs W
#1 Villanova Wildcats (19-1) at Marquette Golden Eagles (13-7)
YOU couldn’t set this up any better. Almost exactly a year ago the same #1 ranked 19-1 Wildcats went to Milwaukee and surrendered a 17-point lead, giving Marquette their first win over a top-ranked team in the school’s history. I have faith that Nova won’t let history repeat itself this time around.
Verdict: Wildcats W
#6 Michigan State (19-3) at Maryland Terrapins (15-7)
THE Spartans will be heavily favoured in this game, but Maryland has shown the ability to hang around in games lately. They had last-second losses at the hands of Ohio State and Indiana, so don’t rule out a close one. It will be interesting to see how focused Michigan State is after a big week off the court for Tom Izzo’s team.
Verdict: Spartans W
#3 Purdue Boilermakers (20-2) at Indiana Hoosiers (12-9)
THINGS are going pretty good right now for the Purdue Boilermakers. Their offense is on fire, they have won 16 straight games and I can’t see an inconsistent Hoosiers team stopping them from improving to 21-2.
Verdict: Boilermakers W
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (11-9) at #17 Wichita State Shockers (16-4)
LAST time these two teams played, Tulsa nearly upset Wichita State, who had won four straight conference games by double-digits before that. The Shockers have stumbled slightly and with Tulsa looking to finish the job they will need to be at their best to avoid an upset.
Verdict: Shockers W
#18 Clemson Tigers (16-4) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-10)
IN the middle of the ACC standings are teams like Miami, NC State and Clemson, all fighting to stay ranked and be in the upper echelon of the conference. The pesky Yellow Jackets aren’t going to be included in that same group, but they sure can make life hard for the teams above them.
Verdict: Yellow Jackets W