The 2020-2021 NBA season is drawing closer and closer to the finish line, at least for the regular season. In any other year (except last year) the playoffs would be getting ready to kick off. However, with the delayed start to the year, the playoffs start in May. Each week there are terrific slates of games and even more so as the season draws closer to the end. Here are some NBA predictions for the next couple of days.
NBA Predictions: April 13-14
Let’s examine some of the key matchups for the next couple of days in the NBA. Playoff matchups and, in one case, a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview.
NBA Predictions: April 13
Boston Celtics vs Portland Trail Blazers
The Tuesday slate of games isn’t the best, which is weird. So, the Celtics vs Blazers is the big game to watch on Tuesday night, with both of them geared for the playoffs.
For the Celtics, they have begun to figure it out as of late, stringing together four wins in their past five games. Of course, Boston’s improbable run to defeat the Denver Nuggets was historic and might ignite the fire under them.
The Celtics outscored the Nuggets 31-8 in the fourth quarter to end Denver's eight-game winning streak 😳 pic.twitter.com/i6hrKz8Gst
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 11, 2021
Boston somehow, someway, outscored the Nuggets 60-36 in the second half at Denver and got the win. It was weird, it was miraculous, and it was awesome. Jayson Tatum led the way with 28 points and 10 boards as the entire Boston starting five finished in double-figures.
The Celtics have won seven of their past 10 games and sit 7th in the Eastern Conference. They remain just a game up of the New York Knicks for the 8th seed as both teams try to avoid a spot in the play-in tournament.
The Blazers have lost four of their past six games and lost to the Miami Heat on Sunday by a score of 107-98. Damian Lillard shot just 3-10 from the field and the Blazers’ issues have become more and more clear as time goes by. Portland is currently 6th in the Western Conference and just 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks.
Prediction: Blazers defeat the Celtics
The Blazers have been struggling, but who will stop Lillard? The Celtics have been one of the most inconsistent teams of the entire season and can never be trusted. As for Portland expect Dame and CJ to go off and each drop 25 points as the Blazers get back on track and notch another victory.
Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference duke it out. Sure, the Nets just lost by 25 to a depleted Los Angeles Lakers squad and the 76ers blew by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are clearly tanking.
Of course, there is still a lot of season left after this game, but a chance to battle for supremacy is always fun.
Prediction: 76ers beat a depleted Nets team.
Expect the Nets to come out with an extra chip on their shoulders, although the status of Irving is still up in the air. LaMarcus Aldridge and Harden are both out for Monday’s game also.
The Nets say LaMarcus Aldridge (illness – non-Covid related), Kyrie Irving (personal reasons/family matter) and James Harden (right hamstring strain) are all out Monday against Minnesota.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 11, 2021
Still, even with extra motivation, the fact that Harden and Irving might be out is too much for the Nets to overcome. The 76ers have sat atop the East for just about the entire season.
Embiid is unstoppable, and Simmons and Harris have been terrific this season. Danny Green and Dwight Howard have provided the championship mentality that the Sixers wanted.
All in all, Embiid should go off for 35 points and 15 boards easily, even with Aldridge.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics
Celtics again? Why not?
Well, the Lakers and Celtics game will be the best of a four-game slate on Thursday evening. As mentioned above, LA found a way to dismantle Brooklyn and you can never count out Frank Vogel.
The Celtics have been hot, but who knows how they perform on a day-to-day basis.
The biggest storyline will be Andre Drummond, who chose the Lakers over several teams after being bought out from the Cleveland Cavaliers. One of the reported teams was Boston, so Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge get a first-hand look at what they missed out on.
Andre Drummond was dominant vs. the Nets tonight 💪
8-15 FG pic.twitter.com/XHauotSrTG
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 11, 2021
Nonetheless, Drummond and the Lakers will be too much for the Celtics, even without Bron and AD.
Prediction: Lakers beat the Celtics, barely.
Drummond posts a huge 25-point, 18-rebound game, and the rest of the Lakers provided balanced scoring. Ben McLemore shoots the lights out of the arena once again as the Lakers’ momentum continues to build.
Stay tuned for more NBA Predictions for the rest of the season!
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