NBA Picks Post ChristmasJosh Bailey
Christmas Day in the NBA was a day for the ages. Can the NBA keep the good times rolling for the last week of 2016?
NBA Picks Post Christmas
Can Boston take advantage of a Cleveland team that was all out on Christmas Day to beat Golden State on Thursday, Dec. 29? What’s going to happen when Milwaukee and Chicago clash at the United Center on Saturday, Dec. 31? Will the Lakers show up versus Philadelphia on New Year’s Day this Sunday?
Boston at Cleveland
When: Thursday, Dec. 29 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Analysis: Cleveland was all out on Christmas Day in their 109 to 108 win over Golden State. One thing I noticed about the Cavs is that more than one of their stars seemed winded by the end of the game.
Three days of rest should be enough. But, the Cavs could have trouble guarding Boston’s three-point shooters on Dec. 29. The last time that these two teams faced each other, Cleveland beat Boston 128 to 122. Lebron scored 30 while Kevin Love added 26.
I don’t see that happening again. I think Boston keeps it closer than 6 points. They might even win this one straight up.
Milwaukee at Chicago
When: Saturday, Dec. 31 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
TV: NBA TV
Analysis: Chicago fell apart in the second half of their 100 to 119 loss on the road to the Spurs on Christmas Day. The Bulls just aren’t good enough to hang with a team like the Spurs. But, Chicago should be good enough to hang with a team like the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year’s Eve.
Milwaukee has one of the best players on the planet on their team, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis leads the Bucks in scoring, assists, rebounds, field goal percentage, steals and blocks. Milwaukee’s defense is also great while Chicago’s offense isn’t that good.
The Bucks win this game straight up as a dog. If Chicago makes an effort to stop Giannis, Jabari Parker could go off.
Toronto Raptors at L.A. Lakers
When: Sunday, Jan. 1 at 6:00 pm ET
Where: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
TV: NBA TV
Analysis: Laker coach Luke Walton has added a lot of fire to L.A. The team plays with way more heart this season than it did last season. The backcourt of Nick Young and Deangelo Russell is solid.
But as well as Young and Russell are, it’s hard to see them taking care of business versus Toronto.
Then again, Toronto faces the Lakers a day after taking on Golden State in Oakland. The Warriors figure to run the Raptors ragged, which means that if the Lakers are ever going to beat a team like Toronto straight up, it’s probably on Jan. 1.
L.A. should take advantage of a tired team this Sunday. I’m with the Lakers straight up.
Pick: L.A. Lakers