Massive 11 game special slate in the NBA this Tuesday, the 16th of January as American celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King with a public holiday. The holiday means that games will kick off earlier than usual, but a great matchup between Cleveland and Golden State headlines the day at 12pm. We preview the game plus some of the other key matchups below.
Both the Knicks and the Nets come into Tuesday’s clash as the bottom two seeds in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks are in a slightly better position, currently sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 19-23 record. The Nets sit back in 13th position, but have shown some really promising signs this year with a few exciting youngsters in the ranks.
The Knicks have lost their last two games and won just two of the last 10. They are by far the worst road team in the league with just a 4-15 record and come into this game as underdogs.
They are on the road for this game, but you can hardly call it an away game, as they just have to travel over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Barclays Centre. Brooklyn are still playing without the two starting guards in D’Angelo Russel and Jeremy Lin. New York have won their last two games against the Nets and star forward Kristaps Porzingus has averaged 21.5 points over those two games, we like the big Latvian to continue his good form here and earn a win for the Knicks.
Warriors star point guard Steph Curry returned from injury in the teams last match against the Raptors on Sunday. He’ll be a massive factor in this game as they face off against the Cavs who will most likely welcome Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade back into the team after missing Cleveland’s last match through rest.
Curry went off for 24 points and 9 assists in his first game back while Kevin Durant continued his streak of 20+ point games with a 25-6-5 performance. It’s safe to say the Warriors have the wood over the Cavs in recent history, winning six of their last seven games against Cleveland.
The Cavs have been really shaky since the return of Isaiah Thomas and the following games out through rest brought some inconsistencies into their line-up. The Warriors start as favourites here and we like them to cover given the Cavs string of bad form.
Chris Paul will continue to lead the Rockets in the absence of James Harden on Tuesday as he faces his old team in the Clippers in Los Angeles. Blake Griffin is back in the line-up for the Clippers, but his frontcourt teammate in DeAndre Jordan could be out for the clash after spraining his ankle late last week. It’ll be a massive loss for the Clipper if Jordan is out, and their defence could really pay the price in his absence.
The Rockets have won their last three games and look to be settling in to playing without Harden. The time spent without the star guard should make them better in the long run, as bench players Gerald Green and PJ Tucker have found really valuable roles in the last few weeks.
With no Jordan in the lineup here, it’s hard to imagine the Clippers stopping the run n gun Rockets from scoring upwards of 120 points. The Rockets are the 2nd highrest scoring team in the league and jack up 7 more three pointers than any other team. The Clippers defence is rated in the bottom ten in the league, and that’s with Jordan, should be a comfortable win for the Rockets here.
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