Top 5 Bold NBA Week 12 Predictions For The 2018 Season
It’s a new calendar year, with LeBron James hoping for renewed health, Russell Westbrook hoping for a new shooting touch, Cleveland hoping for something new such as a win, Charlotte potentially in line for some new players, and the city of Chicago accepting its somewhat new identity of featuring a far better NFL team than NBA team. But instead of forecasting the entirety of 2019 as a whole, let’s take it week by week as we dive into the 5 Bold NBA Week 12 Predictions.
LeBron James will return next Wednesday at home vs. Detroit
LeBron remains sidelined with the strained groin that he suffered during the Lakers’ surprising Christmas Day rout of Golden State. He has been ruled out for Friday against the Knicks in advance of road back-to-backs with Minnesota and Dallas on Sunday and Monday. LeBron certainly won’t play in both of those and the doctorial pick here is that he won’t take the court for either one. Circle Wednesday’s date with Detroit in front of the Staples Center faithful as the target date.
The Cavaliers will win a basketball game
Cleveland (8-30) is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, thus maintaining a lead in the Zion Williamson sweepstakes (holding off 9-29 New York, which has dropped eight in a row). The bad news’ in the Cavs’ bid for the worst record is that a three-game home-stand looms, with Utah, New Orleans, and Indiana coming to town. They should be able to win one of the first two. If they don’t, the skid will balloon from seven to 10 and then likely to 16 with a Western Conference road trip on the horizon.
Russell Westbrook will rebound
From a literal standpoint, Westbrook has already been rebounding. Oklahoma City’s star guard delivered seven triple-doubles during the month of December and on three other occasions recorded double-figures in boards only to come up short in the assists department. He also got the calendar year going with a triple-double (including 16 rebounds) against the Lakers on Wednesday. But what we’re talking about here is bouncing back. Two of Westbrook’s three most recent shooting performances are 4-for-22 (in a loss at Dallas this past Sunday) and 3-for-20 (vs. the Lakers). Both of those came on the road, where he is shooting 39.5 percent this season compared to 44.1 percent at home. The Thunder play two of their next three at Chesapeake Energy Arena and the one exception is a trip to Portland, where Westbrook averaged 27.5 ppg in two appearances during the 2017-18 campaign.
Charlotte will make a trade
The Hornets are certainly not out of it in the Eastern Conference with an 18-19 record. In fact, that mark currently has them inside the playoff cut line. But that is just about where the good news ends for Charlotte, which is 2-4 in its last six outings and got humiliated by 38 points at home by Dallas on Wednesday. The Hornets haven’t defeated a team with a winning record since Dec. 7. They could be inclined to shake things sooner rather than later, with both Frank Kaminsky and Nicolas Batum on the trading block.
The Win-dy City
Sunday will be a big—and victorious day—in Chicago. The Bears and their ferocious defense are -6 home favorites over defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia. Ironically, the Monsters of Midway put the Eagles in the playoffs by beating Minnesota in Week 17. They won’t be so generous to Philly this weekend. Meanwhile, the Bulls get to play Brooklyn at home on Sunday. That’s a winnable game; it’s also one that could feature a mass exodus at halftime with tipoff at 3:30 and Bears-Eagles at 4:40.