Top 5 Bold Predictions for Week 13 in the NBA - New MVP
January may be the NFL’s time to shine, but don’t forget about the NBA. Moving and shaking may be going on with the trade deadline looming, an MVP race is in full flight, and LeBron James is nearing a return. What will the next seven days have in store for us on the hardwood? Let’s forecast and take a look at 5 Bold Predictions for Week 13 in the NBA.
Digging up Dirk
Dirk Nowitzki will erupt for 20 points in a game this week. And, yes, by the 40-year-old’s current standards 20 points would definitely count as an eruption. Having missed two of Dallas’ last three games (one for rest and another due to illness), Dirk will be well-rested heading into upcoming dates with Minnesota, Golden State, and San Antonio. In his last two appearances, he logged 13 and 16 minutes—his two-highest totals of the season. Neither the Timberwolves not the Warriors play much defense, so Dirk’s time is coming.
Kanter can be moved
The New York Knicks will unload Enes Kanter even though he hasn’t formally demanded a trade. New York (10-31) is 3-15 in its last eight contests to remain in the running for the NBA’s worst record—and the best chance to draft Zion Williamson—even though Cleveland (8-34) has lost 11 in a row. There is no reason for the Knicks to win games right now, and clearly they understand that principle. Kanter (14.4 ppg, 11.0 rpg) gives them a better chance to win games. The Kings, who are 2.5 game out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, are interested. It should happen.
Losing in Memphis
The Memphis Grizzlies just ended a six-game losing streak…. They’re about to go on another six-game losing streak. Chandler Parsons is gone, leaving the spoils to Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Jaren Jackson Jr. This team isn’t deep; and simply isn’t very good. The Grizzlies somehow beat San Antonio on Wednesday, but they now play four of five on the road with visits to Miami, Houston, Boston, and Toronto. Their only home game during this stretch is coming against Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee. That’s just unfair. Memphis will return home on a five-game skid and face New Orleans. That’s winnable…but the Pelicans have currently won three in a row—including a 19-point victory over none other than the Grizzlies.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will pass back James Harden as the favorite to win NBA MVP. In what is developing into a two-man race, the Greek Freak had been leading much of the way but it is now Harden who is a +175 favorite to his nearest rival’s +200 (no one else has better than LeBron’s +800 odds). They went head-to-head on Wednesday and Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a huge 116-109 win at Houston with 27 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one errant pass into Harden’s face that he threw just about as hard as he could. The 24-year-old looks like a man on a mission following a recent home loss to main Eastern Conference rival Toronto.
La La Land
Sunday will be successful day in Los Angeles. On the gridiron, NFL divisional-round action is wrapping up with the Chargers’ trip to New England, where the visitors are +4 underdogs. But L.A. is 12-2 in its last 14 contests and just avenged one of those two losses by going on the road and taking care of Baltimore last weekend. Meanwhile, the Lakers are concluding the NBA’s week with a Sunday night home game against Cleveland. LeBron’s former team coming to town? Sounds like a nice time for a comeback from injury. Look for both the Chargers and the Lakers to get the job done.