The Cavs may have beat the Bucks last night for the second straight time this season, but the Bucks still won the day. The splashy trade for Eric Bledsoe makes the Bucks downright scary moving forward. It gets them a legitimate All-Star caliber point guard (in the East) and gives them a second legitimate offensive option to take some of the pressure off guys like Malcolm Brogdon who are more comfortable as defenders and facilitators. The Bucks may be out of the playoffs as of today, but give this mix a few more months and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them as a top three or four team in the East.
Meanwhile, the Knicks moved to 6-4 (5-2 at home) behind yet another MVP-like performance from Kristaps Porzingis and “The Unicorn” is living up to the advanced praise and awe from his peers. He is currently averaging 30.0 ppg and 7.5 rebounds as well as 2.3 blocks a night. His PER is approaching 30, and he is a legitimate MVP candidate. If nothing else, the Knicks are fun again and certainly worth tuning in to watch.
We took a day hiatus yesterday. Let’s see if we can dive into this week with a Wednesday winner.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics -9
The Lakers and Celtics always feels a little bigger, even when the rivalry isn’t in peak form. The Celtics are holding up their end of the bargain; bringing an NBA-best nine game winning streak to the gym tonight to face off against Lonzo Ball and the Lakers. Los Angeles has been hit or miss this year – as has their young new face of the franchise. Tonight is an interesting glimpse of two teams in very different places, but two rookies who will inevitably be compared against one another throughout their careers.
Lonzo moves the television needle. If you need proof, see the promos for tonight’s game. They aren’t talking about the Celtics, they are talking about Lonzo. But Tatum is the more productive player at this point in their careers. His rapid development has taken the sting out of losing Gordon Hayward and has been an integral part of the Celtics nine-game winning streak (along with second year Jaylen Brown).
The Lakers are much improved, but they aren’t ready to beat top teams on the road. This game should be all Boston tonight. They are rested, at home, and should feast on the Lakers inexperience and road woes. They have won two straight, but now they are on the road against the top team in the East. Plus, Lonzo Ball is shooting 29.9% so far this season, and shooting percentages don’t generally make rapid improvements away from home.
I still like the upward trajectory of this Lakers team, but tonight is a tough task. I expect a humbling result.
Today’s NBA Pick: BOSTON CELTICS -9