Top 5 Bold Predictions for Week 14 in the NBA - Hello #RefWatchParty

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Ricky Dimon

NBA

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The NFL may be trying to take center stage right now, but the NBA’s stars are doing their best to keep attention on the hardwood. James Harden is pouring in points at alarming rate, Giannis Antetokounmpo is doing his best to keep pace in the MVP race, Joel Embiid is on fire, and Stephen Curry has Golden State finally looking like a well-oiled machine. What headlines might be on tap for the upcoming week? Let’s take a look….

At least one Twitter user will be banned after #RefWatchParty

The NBA has announced that for certain upcoming games, fans can interact with officials—not ones who in the process of working a game, of course—on social media. During Monday’s showdown between the Warriors and during Wednesday’s tilt featuring the Spurs and 76ers, fans can tweet to @OfficialNBARefs or use the hashtag #RefWatchParty to be part of the conversion and get responses from NBA officials. You just know a few less civilized Twitter users will be enraged following a perceived bad call against their team and lay into innocent refs with all kind of unacceptable verbatim. Whatever the case, this new initiative will provide entertainment.

Dennis Smith Jr. will be on the move

Trade talks involving Smith and the Mavericks have been rumored for quite some time now. Something is finally going to happen this week. The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away and Dallas has fallen to 20-24, four games outside a current playoff spot in the Western Conference. It’s time to shake things up, either in an attempt to make a postseason push or to continue rebuilding around sensational rookie Luka Doncic. Phoenix, Miami, Orlando, and Philadelphia are among the possibilities.

The Bulls will win a basketball game

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven…. No, Chicago has lost eight games in a row. Still, the Bulls don’t seem to be in complete tank-mode for Zion Williamson; they are just naturally terrible at playing basketball. The latter problem is at least something the Bulls can overcome on any given night—especially against another terrible team. And terrible teams are forthcoming on the schedule. Following dates with Denver and Miami, Chicago visits cellar-dwelling Cleveland on Monday and hosts Atlanta next Wednesday.

Golden State will extend its winning streak to nine

The Warriors have won six straight games and the streak will hit nine—and perhaps eventually more than that—by this time next week. Next up for Golden State are the two Los Angeles squads followed by Washington. Of course, it’s not like the schedule really matters. The Dubs are taking care of anything and everything in their path right now, including second-place Denver via a 142-111 road romp on Tuesday. Now in first, Golden State will be inspired to really make a push right now and put the No. 1 seed in the bag so that it can coast down the stretch in April. Moreover, DeMarcus Cousins is returning on Friday and the Warriors will want to send a message to the rest of the league that they even better with him than without him.

Joel Embiid will go for 40 and 15

Embiid has been awesome this season, averaging 27.0 ppg and 13.3 rpg. On Jan. 2 he delivered 42 points and 18 rebounds in a victory at Phoenix; in December he had a 40-and-21 performance against Indiana. Another such showing should be in the cards, not only because the star forward is in fine form these days but also because of the schedule. Philadelphia has upcoming dates with Indiana (Victor Oladipo), Oklahoma City (Russell Westbrook), and Houston (Harden). Yeah, it’s safe to say Embiid is going to be inspired.

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