Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles ClippersLos Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Tuesday

The Clippers has the No. 4 spot and home court advantage in the first round of playoffs after their win on Sunday. The Lakers are on their way to the worst record in their franchise history. The Clips will try and gain more momentum and a 10th straight win over the Lakers, their Staples Center roommates. The game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2016, at 10:30 p.m. ET at Staples Center. The game will be televised on TNT.

The Los Angeles Lakers were not very competitive in each of the first two meetings with the Clips. The Lakers are likely to be a double-digit dog once again facing a Clips team that just got one of its best players back. The Lakers have guard Nick Young and forward Anthony Brown out with an injury for another game. Kobe Bryant scored 34 points in 33 minutes Sunday against Boston after running for only nine minutes the previous game.

The Los Angeles Clippers just got power forward Blake Griffin returning to the lineup. The Clippers have performed well without Griffin, but they will be a better team with him in the lineup. Shooting guard Paul Pierce will probably be out with a right ankle sprain. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan left Sunday’s game after turning an ankle but did return and should be good for Tuesday’s game with the Lakers. This game looks like another win for the Clips with at least a 10 point victory over their Staples Center housemates.

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San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio SpursSan Antonio Spurs in their fifth game of week vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors, 87-79, on Saturday. The Spurs’ victory, and the ability they showed to disrupt the Warriors’ offense, should open some eyes to San Antonio’s extraordinary season. The Spurs are 35-0 at home and are only three games behind the Warriors. The Oklahoma City Thunder hosts the Spurs, who are playing for the third time in four nights. Oklahoma City can move back as a contender in the Western Conference with a win against San Antonio on Saturday. The Spurs face a tough test in this one because the Thunder are playing well and are putting the post break struggles behind them. The Oklahoma City Thunder host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, March 26, 2016, at 8 p.m. ET at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The basketball game will be broadcast on NBA TV.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook  has become a triple-double machine. In the five games since the 93-85 loss to San Antonio on March 12, the Thunder averaged 119.0 points per game and Westbrook has four triple-doubles with averages of 19.2 points, 12.0 assists and 10.8 rebounds. Westbrook solved the Spurs defense for 33 points on 12 of 23 shooting, and 10 assists in Oklahoma City’s home win in the season opener.

The San Antonio Spurs will be severely tested by a Thunder team who has been playing well. The last time these teams met, the Spurs’ top-ranked defense clamped down, holding OKC to 38.3 percent shooting and 11.1 percent from the 3 point line. The last game against San Antonio was the Thunder’s lowest point total of the NBA season. The Spurs will be playing their fifth game in a week span are sure to be worn down.  We give the edge in this game to the Thunder who are playing well and will look to take advantage of that scheduling.

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NBA – San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers

 nba-cleveland-cavaliers-san-antonio-spurs-v2San Antonio Spurs travel to take on Cleveland Cavaliers this Saturday

The San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a 30 point loss to the Warriors last week. It is evident that the Warriors are the best team right now and this upcoming game  is to see which team is second best right now. Cleveland was the 23rd victim of San Antonio’s unbeaten home streak two weeks ago.   All of the Spurs losses this season have come on the road where they are 14-7. The Cavs will be playing at home this time and look to return the favor under new coach Tyronn Lue. The game between the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers is schedule to start at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 30, 2016, at Quicken Loans Arena. The matchup will be broadcast on ABC.

The new Clevand Cavaliers coach was brought on to to improve LeBron James. James should benefit greatly from the up-tempo style Lue wants in Cleveland. It seemed to pay dividends against the Suns. We’ll see if it works against the Spurs. With that question hanging over every Cavalier’s head, especially LeBron James, given the criticisms he’s faced over Blatt’s firing, it was good to see them look like they were up to the task against the Phoenix Suns. James was needed in the fourth quarter of a 115-93 stomping of the Suns. For the first time in the new Lue era, the Cavs were dominant. James piled up 21 points, nine assists, and three rebounds in 31 minutes. He shot 7-of-8 from the field and 7-of-7 from the line. Their new style of play is similar to the Warriors, who torched San Antonio’s top-ranked defense, and Lue and James are looking for similar results.

The San Antonio Spurs got run off the court in a 120-90 loss to Golden State on Monday. They came back by dismantling Houston 130-99 Wednesday night. The Spurs should be well rested for their second matchup with the Cavs in two weeks. No one played more than 30 minutes in the rout of Houston and they have two full days off before attempting to sweep the season series.  The teams are pretty equal talent wise and the difference will come from the coach. Popovich has been doing this much longer than Lue and if the Cavs new bench boss thinks he can outsmart the best in the game, the Cavs could see another blowout loss on their home floor.

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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

Cavaliers_WarriorsCleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Christmas Holiday Showdown

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the best team in the Eastern Conference with a 18-7 record. The Golden State Warriors put together the best start in league history, winning their first 24 games. They are 26-1 and appear to be even better than the team that beat Cleveland in June to win the NBA championship. The showcase game this time around is a rematch of the NBA Finals from last season, as the Golden State Warriors play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors is scheduled for Friday, December 25, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. ET at Oracle Arena. The game will be broadcast on ABC.

The Cleveland Cavaliers has held opponents to an average of just 96 points per contest, good for third in the NBA. They are scoring a solid 101.6 per game  which is 13th and well below the 103.1 points it racked up a season ago. Cleveland proved in the Finals that, even shorthanded, it could slow down the Warriors offense. With point guard Kyrie Irving back in the lineup, Cleveland will have three elite offensive players who can touch and score the ball on any possession. This should help contribute to more open looks, especially from the outside, and better assist rates. Cleveland is at full strength for the first time this season, except that Mo Williams has a thumb injury which could keep him out through the end of the calendar year. With Irving’s elite shooting ability from deep should lift the Cavaliers into another realm, but perhaps not good enough to hang with the Warriors over the course of a this season.

The Golden State Warriors were definitively the better of these two teams last year in the NBA Finals, and though Cleveland is a lot healthier now, Golden State still has the advantage. Shooting guard Klay Thompson has scored 70 points in the last two games. Stephen Curry has just continued his torrid pace with nine straight games of at least 25 points. These two basketball players already have 211 threes in just 25 games between them this season, and the Cavaliers aren’t going to be able to move out to the perimeter to slow things down.

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NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs

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San Antonio Spurs unblemished home record will get serious challenge from LA Clippers

San Antonio’s unbeaten home record will get a stiff challenge from the Clippers in a re-match of a Western Conference first-round playoff series. The Spurs ended last season with a loss in LA after dropping two home games in the series. They said protecting home court was a priority and they meant it, going 14-0 at ATT Center following Tuesdays win over Washington. The game between the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs is scheduled to take place Friday, December 18, 2015, at 8 p.m. ET at the ATT Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

The Los Angeles Clippers will pose a threat, but their undisciplined style will be no match for the poised and controlled play of San Antonio.The Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is starting to fit into the lineup. Spurs center Duncan is also ready to go after a night off on Wednesday. Kawhi Leonard playing at another level now and it’s hard to envision the Spurs losing. They might not drop a home game all season.

The Los Angles Clippers point guard Chris Paul is back to feeling healthy after missing several games with a rib injury and has helped the Clips win nine of their past 11 games. He has had a good series in the playoff win over San Antonio, making over 30 points for two times. Chris Paul has speed and quickness that are more than Tony Parker can handle and when Paul drives to the basket his options increase.  Paul is exceptional at breaking down defenders with his ability to make the mid-range jumper and defenders have to follow him to the three-point line because he can make the long ball as well. Paul is averaging 11.4 assists over the last five games. It will be tough against the Spurs defense, but Paul is one that can do it.

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NBA: Chicago Bulls host the Los Angeles Clippers

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NBA: Clippers-Bulls in Battle of Overvalued Teams

The Bulls lead the Eastern Conference in red ink at 11-7 and the Clippers at 12-9 are in much of the same boat out West. The game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls is scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2015, at 8 p.m. ET at the United Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.

The Chicago Bulls are fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency at (97.1), but Chicago’s offense (97.5) is awful at No. 26 overall, thanks in part to former league MVP Derrick Rose and his personal Offensive Rating of 86. The Bulls are still trying to figure out how to work in Hoiberg’s offense, one that was supposed to bring fun and excitement back to the United Center on a nightly basis. There are still times when the team looks unsure of what they’re supposed to be doing. Many players are still holding out hope that this group is struggling because it hasn’t found its groove, that they are going through the adjustment of learning what a new coach expects each night. Chicago will be in position to claim a top seed come playoff time, but they are still searching.

The Los Angeles Clippers are in the middle of the table defensively at No. 18 overall, giving up 101.8 points per 100 possessions. The Clippers are sixth in offensive efficiency at (104.1). The first 21 games of the season have been anything but pretty for the Clippers. At least now they are starting to grind out some ugly wins. The Clips got some good news at the start of their current five-game road trip when Chris Paul and J.J. Redick both returned to the lineup after missing games due to injury. Clippers forward Blake Griffin is already a star in the NBA and he continues to work on everything. Griffin’s game has been evolving over the years and he’s putting up big numbers this season. He’s averaging a career-high 24.4 points as well as 8.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists.

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NBA: Warriors Aim to Keep Rolling in Memphis

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NBA: Grizzlies Out For Revenge on Warriors

Stephen Curry leads the defending NBA champions into Memphis on Wednesday. Golden State’s title defense is off to a fantastic start. One of their early-season signature wins came November 2 at home when they crushed Memphis by 50 points. The Grizzlies will be hoping things go better than the first meeting of the season putting revenge on the forefront of the Grizzlies’ minds. Stephen Curry led the charge with 30 points for the Warriors, who outscored the Grizzlies by 45 over the second and third quarters to put the game away. Marc Gasol managed 13 points for Memphis, who shot a miserable 27.1% from the field and after the first quarter. Golden State has beat Memphis in seven of their last 10 meetings overall. Memphis is 6-4 in their last 10 at home against the Warriors.

At one point in their last match, the Warriors were down by a point. They went on to out score the Grizzlies 72-27 in the second and third quarters. Reigning MVP Stephen Curry dropped 30 points in 28 minutes for the Warriors, who out-rebounded the Grizzlies 65-44 and out-scored them 36-10 on the fast break. Golden State looks even better than the team that rolled to the NBA title last season, and they seem to be playing with a chip on their shoulder.

Memphis didn’t do themselves any favors last Monday, shooting 27.1% from the field in the franchise’s worst loss ever. Marc Gasol had 13 points and nine rebounds to lead the way for the Grizzlies. Making a statement against the champions would compensate for their slow start. If the Grizzlies truly want to see where they measure up in terms of those tiers of contenders, however, they must compete. This cannot morph in to a repeat of the Cleveland Cavaliers game on last Monday.

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NBA: Knicks at Cavaliers on Wednesday

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NBA: Knicks-Cavs in Battle of Improved Teams

Will this finally be the year LeBron James leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA title? It’s been a good start for the Cavs . They’ve won three of their first four games. The New York Knicks also have to be pleased with their results so far. These two Eastern teams are scheduled to meet on Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN in Cleveland.

The Knicks need every advantage they can get. The Cavaliers still aren’t at full strength and will be missing both point guard Kyrie Irving due to a knee injury and shooting guard Iman Shumpert due to a wrist injury.  Depth isn’t a problem for Cleveland like it was last year, thanks to a healthy Anderson Varejao at center and the return of veteran point guard Mo Williams to Ohio.

New York is considerably deeper than last year, and there’s a chance to pull off the upset with its improved lineup. First-round draft pick Kristaps Porzingis is at power forward next to swingman Carmelo Anthony. Kristaps Porzingis is already paying dividends at power forward as he and new center Robin Lopez provide defensive balance for small forward Carmelo Anthony, who’s off to a strong start with 27.1 points and a career-high 4.5 assists per 36 minutes.

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