NBA Games to Watch on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
There is nothing like a solid midweek NBA doubleheader on TV, which is exactly what we are getting on NBA Wednesday Night on ESPN. The action begins with an Eastern Conference duel that promises to be a lot of fun, with the conference-leading Toronto Raptors taking a trip to Boston to face the underperforming Celtics. If you can stay up late, the second game in the doubleheader will see Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans head into Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors. Let’s take a closer look at these two games, with predictions included.
Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics
The Raptors came storming out of the gate in the early part of the season, quickly opening up a lead that looked as though it was going to be tough to beat. They went through a bit of a rough patch, though, allowing Milwaukee to grab the lead for a moment, but another positive run has seen Toronto recapture the lead. They are on a run that has seen the win 5 games in a row, taking their lead in the East back up to a game and a half. Playing on the road has not been an issue for the Raptors, who are 15-8 away from home, and they have also been great versus Eastern Conference foes, going 22-7 in those games.
The Boston Celtics were the preseason favorites to win the East, but they have certainly not lived up to the hype. They are still sitting at 25-18, good enough for the #5 spot in the conference, which has them sitting 7 games back of the Raptors. The harsh reality is that the Celtics are not doing enough to make a run at the top spot and are coming into this one on a 3-game losing skid that has taken them to 5-5 in the last 10 games. The Celtics are a solid 15-5 at home, which includes an OT win over Toronto earlier this season.
The Celtics and Raptors have split the 2 games they have already played this season, with the home team winning each of those games. I think the Raptors break that trend with a win here.
Predicted Score: Toronto Raptors 114 | Boston Celtics 110
New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors
The Pelicans started the season well enough, but they have been on a poor run of form that has seen them drop below the playoff line, although just 2 ½ games off the pace being set by the #8 team. A big part of the problem for this team has been how ineffective they have been on the road, going 6-17 in games outside of The Big Easy. They have also not been very good against teams with a winning record, going 8-16 versus those teams. They have lost 11 of their last 12 meetings with Golden State.
Compared to what we have seen from the Warriors in recent years, this season might well be considered a little up and down. Despite that, they are still 29-14 this season, which is good enough to have them in second place in the Western Conference, a half-game back of the Denver Nuggets in the top spot. The Warriors are winners of 4 in a row and 7 of their last 10 and are currently sitting at 17-6 on home court.
The Warriors are on a very solid run of form right now, which should carry them to the win here.
Predicted Score: New Orleans Pelicans 126 | Golden State Warriors 118
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