NBA Thursday Night is a bit of a quiet one in the NBA, with just 4 games on the schedule. It may not be a busy night, but there are still a couple of good games to look forward to on TNT. The Boston Celtics are trying to haul themselves back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but they still have some work to do. They will have a tricky trip to Miami to face the Heat. Over in the West, the race at the top is tight, with just a game and a half separating #3 Oklahoma City from #6 San Antonio. A home win for the Spurs could make things even tighter. Let’s take a closer look at these two big games.
Boston Celtics (25-15) at Miami Heat (19-20)
The Celtics were very much expected to be at the top of the East this season, but at the midway point of the season, they find themselves 5 games off the pace. They are on a bit of a roll right now, winning 3 in a row coming into this one, although that run has taken them to just 6-4 in the last 10 games. Boston are just 10-10 on the road this season, but overall, they are 16-7 versus other teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Miami Heat are sitting directly below the Celtics in the #6 spot, but there is a bit of a gap there, as the Celtics have a 5-game lead over them. The Heat have the same 6-4 record over the last 10 games as the Celtics, but the difference here is that Miami are on a 2-game losing skid. Strangely enough, the Heat have been better on the road than they have been at home, going just 9-12 in their own building. The Heat are 5-8 versus teams with a winning record.
The Heat broke out of an 8-game losing skid to the Celtics by winning 2 of 3 last season. This will be the first meeting of this season, and I like the Celtics to win this one.
Predicted Score: Boston Celtics 101 | Miami Heat 96
Oklahoma City Thunder (25-15 ) at San Antonio Spurs (24-18)
The Oklahoma City Thunder are sitting in the #3 spot in the Western Conference, but they are beginning to lose some ground after going just 5-5 over the last 10 games. They have lost 2 games in a row and are now 2 ½ games off the pace being set by the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder have a decent 12-9 record on the road this season, but they have lost each of their last 5 visits to San Antonio, a streak that goes all the way back to 2014.
The Spurs are down in the #6 spot in the Western Conference, but they are slowly starting to make a move, winning each of their last 5 games, a run that has taken them to 8-2 over their last 10 outings. A big part of their success this season has come on home court, where they have gone 17-5. They have two more wins (17) in conference play than the Thunder.
These are two teams heading in opposite directions at the moment, and with the Spurs playing at home, I think San Antonio gets the win here.
Predicted Score: Oklahoma City Thunder 96 | San Antonio Spurs 99
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