WAS @ MIA: The Heat should have no trouble ‘avenging’ their embarrassing loss in DC 11 days ago. They are also smarting from a loss to Golden State on Wednesday. LeBron James (shoulder) is probable, but if he isn’t 100%, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are more than capable of taking over a game against a weak, tired opponent.
BRK @ CHI: Who will be the last Bulls guard standing? Derrick Rose has no timetable, Richard Hamilton (foot) will miss at least two more weeks and Kirk Hinrich (knee) is questionable to play tonight, leaving Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli to play big minutes. There’s a possibility that Brook Lopez will sit out this back-to-back, but Joakim Noah is a strong play no matter who he faces.
IND @ DET: Though they have home-court advantage, the Pistons might be drained from a double-OT road loss last night, and the Pacers, after winning at home, might have a little more left in the tank. We’ll be watching to see if Hibbert can put two good games together. Don’t expect this to be high-scoring.
DAL @ MIN: That was a truly horrible effort by the Mavs in Toronto; they didn’t hit a 3-pointer all night and turned it over 17 times. There’s no reason to expect a 180 degree change 24 hours later, so play your Timberwolves. If Rubio returns, it figures to be off the bench for limited minutes. Big Pek and AK-47 should be major factors again, but Love is far from 100%.
LAC @ MIL: On an 8-game win streak, getting great play from their superstars and a terrific second unit, the rested Clippers are the play. Milwaukee will be fatigued after winning on the road last night, and they don’t match up in talent or depth at the best of times. That L.A. bench of Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and Eric Bledsoe could have another big night.
BOS @ SAS: If you can’t win in Houston, or even score 100 points, you’re in trouble 24 hours later in San Antonio. Especially when the Spurs are angry after a rare two-game losing streak. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan will be determined, and Kawhi Leonard will add to the incredible team depth very soon, possibly tonight.
MEM @ UTA: This isn’t the easiest spot for Memphis to snap a 3-game slide. Though they were kind of lethargic last night in Phoenix, the Jazz are 9-1 at home. The Grizzlies aren’t scoring as much lately, in part because of turnovers. If Mike Conley has a better game, the whole team will benefit. My Magic 8-ball says “tossup.”
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