5 Bold NBA Predictions for Week 8 of the 2018 season
We are entering the third month of the 2018-19 campaign and this one is always big, as Christmas is traditionally the biggest regular-season day on the annual NBA calendar. But we don’t have to wait until the 25th for December to deliver the goods. After all, this week’s schedule includes Warriors vs. Bucks and Raptors vs. 76ers. So what will the next seven days have in store? Here are some Bold NBA Predictions for Week 8.
Warriors-Bucks will be a preview of the NBA Finals
Golden State continues its five-game Eastern Conference road trip, wrapping it up in Cleveland on Wednesday and Milwaukee on Friday. Don’t be surprised if Friday’s showdown isn’t the Warriors’ final trip to Wisconsin this season. They may be back of a certain playoff series known as the NBA Finals. Golden State is struggling by its lofty standards at 16-9, but Stephen Curry is back, Draymond Green will be back, and DeMarcus Cousins looks set to make his team debut next month. Moreover, no other contender in the Western Conference is turning a ton of heads these days. As for the Bucks, they are 15-7 and trailing only Toronto in the Eastern Conference. Eleven different players are logging more than 11 minutes per game and Giannis Antetokounmpo is a +260 favorite to win NBA MVP.
Kawhi Leonard will go for 30, 10, and 5 (steals) against Philadelphia
With a once-disgruntled Leonard playing inspired basketball, the Raptors are 20-5 and leading the Eastern Conference by 3.5 games. He is averaging 25.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game, including 32.7 ppg on 35-for-64 shooting over the last three outings. Leonard went for 31 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals in a 129-112 defeat of Philadelphia on Oct. 30. He gets up for big games and will likely do so once again against the Sixers on Wednesday.
The Nuggets’ winning streak will reach 10
Are the Nuggets a real threat to Golden State out west? They are a nice regular-season story with a 16-7 record and a current six-game winning streak, but we will see what they can do in the playoffs. For now, expect Denver to keep rolling. Its next four contests are coming against Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Memphis. Only Charlotte on the road should be a test, as the Nuggets get to play a decent Memphis team at home. Nikola Jokic (16.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg) is coming off a triple-double in Monday’s 106-103 victory at Toronto.
The Nets’ losing streak will reach 10
At the other end of the spectrum is Brooklyn, which started well enough to the tune of a respectable 8-10 record but has since lost seven in a row. The Nets’ roster is not good at all, and with a few more setbacks they will find themselves where they belong: in the running for the No. 1 draft pick in 2019. They have upcoming games against Oklahoma City, Toronto, and New York. Brooklyn should lose the first two no problem, and the Knicks—who upset Milwaukee 136-134 last weekend—have home-court advantage on Saturday.
Phoenix will have a deal in place involving Trevor Ariza
It was never exactly clear from either party’s perspective why Ariza signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Suns last summer. They are still long time away from Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton turning them into contenders, and Ariza is a 14-year NBA veteran who should be committed to winning now. Phoenix already owns the league’s worst record at 4-19 and can really get a stranglehold on back-to-back lottery wins by trading one of its best players. Arizona cannot be officially dealt until Dec. 15, but look for the Suns to finalize an eventual deal right now.