NBA: Marquee Matchups for the Week of February 1
The season is still young, yet old enough to reveal which teams are likely to be in contention when the playoffs roll around. Let’s check out the biggest and best matchups this week involving teams that could be locking horns way down the road, before that make sure to check out the NBA lines for the upcoming games there are some interesting lines, let’s move forward with the games.
Monday, February 1st, @ 8:00 PM Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks
Damian Lillard is coming off of a 44-point performance in what resulted in a narrow 123-122 victory over the Bulls on Saturday night. The Blazers enter this matchup with a 10-8 record and have won five of eight games on the highway this season.
Their hosts, the Milwaukee Bucks, are once again vying for Eastern Conference supremacy with their most recent outing being a stunning 126-114 Saturday night loss to the Hornets in Charlotte. The Bucks were nine-point road favorites and if you happened to bet the Hornets on the money line you would have collected a handsome reward, returning almost 4 to 1 on your money.
Milwaukee has now dropped two straight and will be itching to get back on track against one of the Western Conference’s most prolific scoring machines, the Portland Trail Blazers.
Tuesday, February 2nd, @ 7:30 PM Los Angeles Clippers at Brooklyn Nets
The Clippers are one of the hottest teams in the league, reeling off nine wins in 10 of their most recent outings but their game against the Knicks on Sunday will tell the tale as to whether they maintain their winning ways. Chances are LA will remain on the East Coast rather than fly across the country, only to have to do so all over again on Tuesday night when they meet the NBA’s newest super-team, the Brooklyn Nets.
With the acquisition of James Harden from Houston, the Nets have become a powerhouse with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving completing Brooklyn’s basketball holy trinity. Aside from two shocking back-to-back losses to the Cavaliers, the Nets have done nothing but win since Harden arrived. This will be a true test against a Western Conference power for Brooklyn and it is a must-see matchup for any NBA fan.
Tuesday, February 2nd, @ 10:00 PM Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors
The Celtics are one player away from joining all the other elite teams as being championship-worthy. Jaylen Brown is coming into his own after being overshadowed by teammate Jayson Tatum, another burgeoning young superstar, since entering the league in 2016.
Factor in veteran Kemba Walker, whom the Celtics signed to replace the departed Kyrie Irving a few years ago, and that’s a very good Big Three. But even with defensive whiz, Marcus Smart, as an important component of Boston’s formidable lineup, it’s still lacking that one last piece as it is still not quite at the same level as the league’s true giants.
The Golden State Warriors, only a few years removed from being hailed as one of the greatest teams ever assembled and creators of a mini-dynasty of their own, are 4 ½ games out of first place in the West at the time of this writing and will be a stern test for the invading Celtics. This matchup will be a good one as Steph Curry will try to school the young guns from Boston as to what a true superstar NBA looks like.
Wednesday, February 3rd @ 7:00 PM Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks
The Indiana Pacers are the perennial gatekeepers, just good enough to beat all the rest but not quite up to snuff to compete with the championship contenders. Nevertheless, they are a worthy opponent and capable of pulling an upset over any team in the league, including one led by the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks.
This will be Indiana’s third game in four nights which could leave them a bit sluggish for a meeting with one of the Eastern Conference’s shining stars. The Bucks handled the Pacers quite easily last season, winning three of four meetings and beating them by an average of 18 plus points in their three victories.
Thursday, February 4th @ 8:00 PM Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers are atop the Eastern Conference and if they want to remain there, they will have to beat teams like the Trail Blazers with increasing regularity. Joel Embiid is arguably the most dominant big man in the business and Philadelphia has cobbled together the best home record in the league.
Philadelphia will be returning home after a Wednesday night game against the Hornets in Charlotte while the Trail Blazers will be on the fifth leg of a six-game road trip after a Tuesday night contest in Washington DC against the Wizards.
Thursday, February 4th @ 10:00 PM Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
A case could be made that anytime the Lakers are playing, it’s must-see-tv but when they play the high-flying Nuggets, it’s a marquee matchup on anyone’s list. The Lakers boast what could be described as the best one-two punch in NBA history with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading a cast of talented characters that claimed the NBA title in last year’s truncated season.
Los Angeles is proving that one just isn’t good enough and are the odds-on-favorites to lift the hardware once again and adorn the franchise with their 18th championship crown.
Saturday, February 6th @ 8:00 PM Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers
This will be a Saturday night matchup worthy of marquee matchup status when two Atlantic division powers collide in the City of Brotherly Love. The Nets will be flying into Philly after battling the Raptors in Brooklyn the previous night while the Sixers will have a few days to relax after their Thursday night tilt against Portland.
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