NBA Picks Feb 13th-19thJosh Bailey
The NBA All-Star Weekend starts on Friday, Feb. 17th and runs through Sunday, Feb. 19th. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t games out there for my weekly NBA Picks piece. On Tuesday, the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Have the T’Wolves improved enough to challenge LeBron and Co. for the win? On Wednesday, the Cavs host Indiana. Does Indiana match up well enough with Cleveland to put a beat down on the Cavs? The final game that made my list this week is a classic matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls. Does the veteran Bulls team have the upper hand over young Boston?
NBA Picks Feb 13th-19th
Cleveland at Minnesota
When: Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
TV: NBA TV
Analysis: In the last game between these two, Cleveland dominated Minnesota 125 to 97. The Cavs, led by Lebron’s 27 points, and 12 assists, blitzed the T’Wolves. Does Minnesota have any shot of turning the tables on the Cavs at home on Feb. 14?
Not really. The last game happened on Feb. 1, 2017. That wasn’t long ago. Unless LeBron or Kyrie doesn’t play, Cleveland should beat Minnesota by double-digits again. The problem that Minnesota has is that Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points, and grabbed 12 boards on Feb. 1.
Towns doesn’t figure to produce more than that on Tuesday night. The Cavs roll to an easy win unless they’re having one of their down nights.
Indiana at Cleveland
When: Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Analysis: The last time that Cleveland faced Indiana was on Wednesday, Feb. 8. This battle takes place only 7 days after that game. What did Cleveland do to Indiana in that one? They beat the Pacers 132 to 117.
It was a big win for Cleveland. The reason is because Kyle Korver, whom the Cavs traded for, exploded with 29 points against Indiana. He went 8 out of 9 from three-point range versus the Pacers.
The Pacers also yielded 25 points to LeBron, 29 points to Kyrie, and 14 points to Love. What that tells me is that Indiana is going to have a big problem on Feb. 15. If they adjust the defense to account for Korver, the rest of the Cavs are going to go off even more than they did in the Feb. 8 game.
Cleveland wins another one by double-digits.
Boston at Chicago
When: Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Analysis: Chicago’s best player, Jimmy Butler, is suffering through a hurt heel. The problem with the injury is that it’s one of those nagging things where Butler can play, but it hasn’t healed at 100%.
There’s no way to know if Butler will be at 100% on Thursday. This should be an entertaining game. One of the best offensive teams in the NBA, Boston who averages over 108 points per game, battles one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls allow less than 103 points per game.
The contrast in styles led to a 107 to 100 Boston win on Nov. 2, 2016. The Bulls’ defense has gotten better since then while the Celtics needed 23 points from Amir Johnson, who hasn’t been nearly as effective since 2017 started, to beat Chicago.
I like Chicago at home in this match up on Thursday night. I think they turn the tables on one of their historic rivals.