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The Denver Nuggets have been playing some terrific basketball of late. Now, the big test for them is whether they can keep it up as they leave home. The Nuggets will play their last four games of the first half on the road, and it starts with this visit to Cleveland on Saturday night. The Cavaliers aren’t very good, but Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland offense has been piling up the points.
The Chicago Bulls have been short-handed all year, but they have done a nice job staying right around the top of the NBA Central Division. Chicago is one of the few teams in the NBA that has been better on the road than they have been at home. Utah is consistently one of the best home teams in the NBA, and this year is no different. Can the Bulls come out of Utah with a win or will the Jazz continue their home dominance?
Oklahoma City is cruising along with the best record in the NBA. The Lakers were expected to be their top competition in the Western Conference, but it hasn’t turned out that way at all. Instead, the Lakers are 19-25 and they have the worst team chemistry in the NBA. They’ll get another chance to show they can play with the best in the NBA on Sunday afternoon when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Utah Jazz are always one of the best home teams in the NBA. Utah has started out the season 14-4 on their home floor. The Indiana Pacers started the year slowly, but they have made a strong push of late thanks to their league leading defense. Indiana has won 7 of their last 10 games overall. Can the Pacers win with their defense in a very tough environment at Energy Solutions Arena?
Some have been expecting the Clippers to hit a tough patch this year, but they just keep winning. Chris Paul’s bruised kneecap is a little bit of a concern, but he should be back in the lineup soon. He is listed as doubtful for this game. The Phoenix Suns are now under Interim Coach Lindsay Hunter’s guidance. Can the Clippers keep pace near the top of the Western Conference standings or will the Suns pull off a surprise?
Oklahoma City will be on the second game of a tough back-to-back scheduling spot here. They were in Los Angeles last night to take on the Clippers. Can the Golden State Warriors take advantage of a slightly weary Oklahoma City team, or will the team with the best record in the NBA take care of business once again on Wednesday night?
The New York Knicks are coming off two straight losses. Last night’s loss to the Pacers came as Carmelo Anthony was suspended. Anthony will be back for the Knicks home game against the Chicago Bulls Friday night on ESPN. The Bulls aren’t the same without Derrick Rose, but they are holding their own. Can they send the Knicks to their third straight loss?
Things just aren’t getting any better for the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash’s return was supposed to be the catalyst for the team, but that hasn’t worked out. The latest breaking news is that both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are now out with injuries. The two big men had been struggling, but the Lakers can’t afford to be without these guys.
Kobe Bryant’s comments after the Lakers loss to the 76ers this past weekend got a ton of publicity. Bryant was clearly fed up with the Lakers struggles, and he came right out and said this team is too old and isn’t putting forth enough effort. The Lakers are the fourth oldest team in the league, but it’s hard to believe that a team with this much talent can’t do any better than 15-16 through the first 31 games of the year.
The New York Knicks dropped their first game at home earlier this week when Carmelo Anthony was out of the lineup, but Anthony returned as the Knicks blasted the Nets on Wednesday night. The Bulls come in with one of the best defenses in the league, while the Knicks offense has been on fire. Something has to give in this matchup.