Greetings, fellow NBA-heads. Things are really starting to move in the West. We took a day off yesterday given there were only two impactful games going on (and I got lazy) but since Friday the standings have shaken up. The Spurs are the latest team in danger of falling out of the top eight, the Clippers are catching fire and Oklahoma City is back in the top five. Meanwhile, three of the top four teams have finally lost a game, with only Portland keeping its winning streak going. And don’t look now but 10-seeded Utah is on a five-game streak of their own. Here are the latest standings heading into a big Sunday slate of games:
Let’s get right into it. Here’s what’s coming up on a juicy Sunday:
2:30 CT – Warriors @ Timberwolves: The Dubs had a chance to reclaim the 1-seed Friday, but couldn’t hang with the red-hot Blazers on the road without Steph Curry. Today Curry, Jordan Bell and Pat McCaw aren’t with the team while David West and Andre Iguodala are all most likely out. But these are the Warriors, don’t shed too many tears for them. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green should still be able to lead them to victory over a Jimmy Butler-less Wolves team on a three-game skid. Especially if Derrick Rose eats into Tyus Jones‘ minutes. The pick: Warriors 103-100.
3:00 CT – Jazz @ Pelicans: It’s legit exciting that this is an important game in mid-March. Both teams have battled injuries again this season but are thriving regardless. Keep an eye on the Anthony Davis – Rudy Gobert matchup (assuming AD is back, fingers crossed). The best offensive big man in the game against the best defensive one. For tie-breaker purposes, this one is big for New Orleans, who have lost two of three to the Jazz this season. Since Boogie Cousins went down, the Pelicans have been best when playing at a breakneck pace. Utah will try to slow everything down. Something has to give. The pick: I’m taking the Jazz on the road, given Davis’ potential limitations, 106-99.
4:00 CT – Kings @ Nuggets: The schedule gods have given Denver plenty gifts lately. The problem is they tend to turn their noses up at such good tidings. But the Kings are a special kind of bad team right now. Give me the Nugs in a rout, 117-92.
6:00 CT – Rockets @ Mavericks: Houston saw it’s 17-game streak broken in Toronto Friday night, but gave a valiant effort in a late comeback bid. They are just fine. Don’t expect them to take the Mavs for granted like Denver did this week. Houston despises Dallas, in basketball and just about everything else. The Rockets will twist the knife tonight, winning in Big D, 122-100.
Picks record since March 5: 14-9