The NBA Bubble has 6 games going to be happening today and they all are worthy enough to be on our TV screens. Out of the 6 games, 4 of them you should really keep your eyes open for because they are gonna mean something. 2 of those games are gonna be fighting for the 8th seed in the West and the other 2 are gonna try and prove their dominance early in the bubble. And what games am I talking about? Well the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers are gonna be dueling it out for the 8th seed. The Kings have their opportunity to gain the 8th seed against the Spurs after the Pelicans lost last night to the Utah Jazz. The front runner for MVP Giannis is gonna be taking on the young crafty Boston Celtics who are looking to show people they are ready for the primetime lights. Then the final “important” game for the 2nd day is gonna be the Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks and let’s see what Luka can do when the games matter the most alongside Kristaps Porzingis who hasn’t been in this situation yet. James Harden is gonna try to prove he can be consistent in the playoffs and try to help Houston bring one back without cheating. The only games I’m gonna preview are gonna be those 4 games so here are my predictions for the other games
Brooklyn Nets vs Orlando Magic 2:30 EST: ORLANDO MAGIC
Phoenix Suns vs Washington Wizards 4:00 EST: PHOENIX SUNS
Sacramento Kings vs San Antonio Spurs 8:00 EST: SACRAMENTO KINGS
Memphis Grizzlies vs Portland Trail Blazers 4:00 EST
This is the game that has a lot of playoff implications for both teams. The Grizzlies are trying to maintain the 8th seed over teams like the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and the Kings. On the other hand, the Trail Blazers are the 9th seed trying to fight while being 4 games behind the Grizzlies. Now Portland has the talent to be in the playoffs with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, and the returning Jusuf Nurkić. The first big test for the young Ja Morant, lets see if he can guard a top 3 guard in basketball in Dame and debatably the best guard when he’s on. Both have exciting rosters, the Blazers have nothing to lose and will have the advantage of pressure against a young Grizzlies team who will have the pressure of maintaining the 8th seed over 3 good teams.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers because they have Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkić returning from injury and now they have their playoff team from last year with other new good pieces and I just think the Grizzlies pressure will get to the young team.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics: 6:30 EST
I’ll make this one short and sweet, you have debatably the most dominant player on one side and you have a very deep good team on the other side. The Bucks have been in this situation before and we will see if this year they get over the hump and go to the finals. The Celtics will have another go at them but with a new leader at the helm with Kemba Walker who will be playing meaningful basketball for the first time since his college years. Man I really don’t see anyone taking the Bucks out of the playoffs this year, there is not a big name like Kawhi over in the East that can do that. The Celtics can be a surprising team in the playoffs with guys like Walker, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, and Tacko Fall (lol). This is gonna be a fast paced game and will definitely be a high scoring game.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks, again I don’t see any team knocking them off and I don’t see anyone on the Celtics that can guard Giannis and Middleton. But don’t be surprised if this game comes down to the wire like yesterday’s games.
Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks 9:00 EST:
James Harden vs Luka Doncic that’s the matchup for today, two of the best scorers in the league today. One thing to look for is how the Mavs will use 7’3 Kristaps Porzingis against a Rocket team whose center is 6’9. And what makes that worse is the fact that Porzingis can shoot as well so the floor is gonna be spaced and he will be able to thrive. But will that be enough to stop the powerhouses that are named James Harden and Russell Westbrook? Well the simple answer is no because Westbrook has been on a tear ever since the Rockets traded away Clint Capela. The top 2 offensive rated teams are gonna be head to head tonight and I’m ready to see this slobber knocker.
Prediction: Houston Rockets because I don’t see the Mavs being able to guard both Westbrook and Harden at the same time. But if Luka does Luka and Porzingis can take the advantage of the height I could see the Mavs stealing this win. Westbrook has been too dominant recently to slow down now and with Harden this team is destined to do great things.