New Orleans Pelicans vs. Golden State Warriors
Tuesday 5th December 2017, 1am (UK time)
The Pelicans are a dangerous team with a front court that includes Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, but Davis recently suffered a bad injury and has been seen on crutches. New Orleans is 11-11, and the next few months could determine whether or not they try to deal Cousins and rebuild or gather themselves for a playoff run. They’ve had an erratic start, going on two three-game winning streaks before starting a three-game losing streak. Rajon Rondo has been a welcome addition, but a lack of talent on the wing will hold this team back this season.
The Warriors are off to another great start, albeit not the start that most expected. Their 17-6 record is quite impressive, but not nearly as good as in previous years. They’ve lost to talented teams like the Rockets and the Pistons, but they’ve also a blowout at the hands of the Thunder and an embarrassing loss at home to Sacramento. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry are both making their cases for MVP, and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are once again in contention for the All-Star team.
Even with Davis, the Pelicans have a horrible track record against Golden State, so the Warriors should blow them out in this road showdown.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Thursday 7th December 2017, 3:30am
This year’s Clippers are not the Clippers we’re used to seeing. They lost Chris Paul to free agency, and they’ve also lost Patrick Beverley, Blake Griffin, Milos Teodosic, and Danilo Gallinari to injuries. Fans are calling for Doc Rivers’ head, and the team’s 8-13 record doesn’t help his case. Los Angeles has lost nine consecutive games in their last 15. Moving forward, the Clips will have to lean on guys like Louis Williams and DeAndre Jordan to help them break out of their slump and win some games until Griffin and the rest of the gang return.
The Timberwolves, on the other hand, look like a revitalized franchise this year. New coach Tom Thibodeau has emphasised defence with his group, and added All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague in the offseason, as well as Taj Gibson and Jamaal Crawford. They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2003/04 season, but they currently sit in sixth place in the West and look like a postseason-bound squad. As long as they stay healthy, the Wolves have the talent to frighten anyone.
The Clippers would normally win this game, but they’ve suffered too many injuries lately. The Timberwolves are a much hotter team at this point, and they shouldn’t have a problem repeating Sunday night’s feat, when they edged through 112-106.