The Toronto Raptors ended last week on a losing note, but they still maintain a comfortable 2½ game lead at the top of the Eastern Conference. Over in the West, things are beginning to look a little more familiar, with the Golden State Warriors cranking out 3 straight wins to get back on top, although they are there by the very tightest of margins. There are some huge games on the NBA schedule this week, some of which could have a major impact on the standings.
Let’s take a closer look at 4 of the best in the next few days.
Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers (Fanny Pack Giveaway) – Monday
It’s giveaway night for the Lakers on Monday, but I’m not so sure that they are going to be feeling particularly generous with the Miami Heat. This will be the second time that LeBron has gone against his old team this season, with the Lakers coming away with a very comfortable 113-97 road win in the earlier meeting. LA are certainly going to be tough to take out at home, as they are a very solid 10-4 in their own building this season. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games overall and should pick up another win here.
Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Clippers - Tuesday
The Toronto Raptors appeared to be in cruise control in the Eastern Conference at the start of last week, but they ended things with back to back losses, seeing their conference lead dip to 2 ½ games. They certainly don’t have an easy week ahead of them, starting with a trip to LA to face a Clippers team that is in among the leaders in the Western Conference. They lost some ground last week, though, finishing with back to back losses. I have a tougher time seeing Toronto losing 3 straight than the Clippers, so I am on the Raptors to win.
Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors - Wednesday
If the Raptors thought they had it tough on Tuesday night, just look what they have ahead of them on Wednesday. The Golden State Warriors have been a little inconsistent to start the season and have had to deal with some in-fighting, but that all seems to be behind them now. The Warriors ran off three straight wins last week to take their usual place atop the Western Conference, but they are not going to have an easy time of it here. Golden State are 11-2 at home and will have the benefit of facing a Toronto team playing their second game in a consecutive night. Golden State to win, I believe.
Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets – Thursday
You look at the current NBA standings and can’t help but be stunned to see the Houston Rockets sitting second from bottom in the Western Conference. Every time you think they are going to pull out of their early slump, they find a way to get sucked right back in. Despite their poor start, they are still just a couple of games back of the playoff line, as well as being just 6 games out of first. Certainly not a perfect scenario, but not as bad as it could be. I do think the Rockets will eventually find their way back, but I also think they lose this one.
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