It’s altogether too early in the season to start talking about the NBA playoffs, but we have certainly seen enough games to have a good idea of which teams might be in the hunt this season.
The Toronto Raptors are shaping up as the early class in the league and have already notched up 20 wins on the season to take a 4-game lead in the Eastern Conference. Things are a whole lot tighter in the West, with just 3 ½ games separating 1st from 8th. Another big week of NBA action begins on Monday, so let’s look ahead to some of the best games on the schedule.
Denver Nuggets at Toronto Raptors – Monday
It’s the top two teams in their respective conferences going head to head to begin the week on Monday night. While Denver Nuggets may currently be the best in the West, they have actually won 5 fewer games than the Raptors, although Toronto have had the benefit of playing a few more. This will be the first meeting between these two this season, with the 2 games last year being evenly split. The Raptors have been fantastic at home, going 10-2 in the early going, so look for them to improve upon that record in this one.
Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks – Tuesday
The Dallas Mavericks have crept their way above the playoff line and now find themselves 3 ½ games out of first in the Western Conference. The Portland Trail Blazers got their season off to a fantastic start, but have since gone in the tank, winning just 3 of their last 10 games, a run that has dropped them all the way down to the #7 spot. The Mavericks have been tough at home, going 9-2 in their own building, so they are certainly going to like their chances against a Portland team that is a game below .500 on the road.
San Antonio Spurs at LA Lakers – Wednesday
The schedule makers have gone a little crazy with this match-up, as they have already played twice and will have a home and home series this week, with the second meeting set for Friday. The Spurs will be looking for a performance as good as the one they delivered in their last road game against the Lakers, which was a thrilling 143-142 OT win. The Spurs have been struggling of late, though, with just 3 wins in 10, and they could be in trouble against a Lakers team with 7 wins in their last 10 games.
Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz – Thursday
More often than not, it is the home team that usually had the edge in any sport. Trey telling that to the Utah Jazz, though, as they have picked up just 2 wins in 8 games in their own building this season. It’s tough to know what to expect from the Rockets at this stage of the season, as they have been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team in the early going on their way to an 11-11 record. I am not sold on the Rockets at all just yet and may end up regretting taking them to win here.
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