It’s all about the NFL this week. You can’t miss it. The Super Bowl frenzy is everywhere. All eyes will be on that football stadium in Inglewood as they play host to the big game. So, how does one fill up the six days leading up to Sunday? By focusing on the NBA’s schedule of course. Here are the best picks for games played between February 7 and 13.
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The Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks might be the first blockbuster game of the week. Giannis Antetokounmpo versus Anthony Davis? Or Giannis versus LeBron James? It doesn’t matter who’ll be available when the game starts, as long as any of those two match-ups will happen then fans will be getting their money’s worth. The ideal scenario would be for both LeBron and Davis to play but LeBron might be on the sidelines by game day.
February 10 and 12
The Los Angeles Clippers will be staying in Dallas for at least three days to play the Mavericks twice. That’s a treat for fans who are closely following this mini-rivalry. The Mavericks were eliminated by the Clippers in the playoffs for two years in a row while the Clippers lost by 51 points to the Mavericks around 13 months ago. The season series is tied at 1-1 so these two games are going to be crucial.
The first meeting between the Bucks and the Phoenix Suns since their NBA Finals battle is finally here. The Suns might like the timing of this game. They are the top seed out west and on a roll, while the Bucks just had a rough January. The expectations were about the Bucks making another deep playoff run but it seems like the Suns are the team who’ll be making that kind of trip.
It would be interesting to see Andrew Wiggins face the current and former All-Star players of the Lakers. Since he’s the new face when it comes to players earning their first All-Star starting nod, all eyes will be on Wiggins as he tries to hold his own against the proven stars of the league. Did he deserve his All-Star selection? Or did he inherit that spot due to injuries to other front-court players?
Hawks are Flying
Once upon a time, the Atlanta Hawks had 17 wins. Now, thanks to a run where they’ve won eight out of 10 games, they’re on solid ground when it comes to playoff positioning. Trae Young was phenomenal in that stretch with multiple 30-point games and multiple 10-assist games. Hawks also discovered a new gem in their roster. Onyeka Okongwu, during the hot streak, has been shooting efficiently from the field while contributing well in rebounds and blocks.
Fluctuations in the Standings
Nothing is certain in the NBA playoff standings right now. One quick look at the Eastern Conference and you’ll notice right away that the top six spots are only separated by a few games. Fans will have to sit back first before they even dream about plotting their team’s playoff chances. Any team can get hot and any team can lose a key player that will change the postseason forecast. What a story that would be, if a team in the 11th spot today somehow makes it all the way to the playoffs?
Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw
Main Image Credit: Via the NY Times