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Game Previews, 11/13

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Haven't had an opportunity to write the previews for a few days, and I know you've all been starving for my comprehensive analysis and insightful wit. I apologize. I hope you'll all forgive me. The only prize I can offer is previews, glorious previews. On to the games.

Here is the link for the game thread .

All times central, then I added 2 hours.  All games can be seen via League Pass, unless otherwise noted (in parentheses)

Seattle at Orlando 7:00pm
Miami at Charlotte 7:00pm
Houston at Memphis 8:00pm
Philadelphia at Dallas 8:30
LA Lakers at San Antonio 8:30 (NBATV
NY Knicks at Phoenix 9:00pm (MSG in NY)
Detroit at Portland 10:00pm

For Previews..  

 

Seattle at Orlando 7:00pm
Seattle is the odd man out, breaking a team record being the first and maybe only team this season to go 0-7. They've lost to 'good' teams (DEN, PHO, DET, UTA), they've lost to bad teams (despite their good records, the Clips and the Kings are not good teams). They face another playoff team tonight in the Orlando. The Magic, they're sitting a top the (for now)cushy Southeast division. Orlando is coming off of a 10 point loss to the Suns and former teammate Grant Hill, despite Dwight Howard's 33 points and 18 rebounds. The Magic will want to bounce back at home after a 2 day rest, while Seattle is just starting a 5 game 7 day eastern road trip, with 2 back to backs. Orlando will want to make a statement here, and they will.
Player to watch: Rashard Lewis-The 120 million dollar man faces off against his former team tonight, and he's going to be hungry. In the loss against the Suns on Saturday, Lewis's stat line read 7pts, 9rbs, 5ast, 3stl 3 TO's and 3pf's. Thats on 21% from the field, 20% from long range, and ZERO ft's attempted. He's going to beat up hard on a Seattle team with few wing defenders able to handle Lewis's firepower, and with Dwight Howard coming off of a near 30 and 20 game, the neuvo riche nouveau riche offensive dynamo will want to prove to his former employers and his newest boss that his bang is worth the buck, yet again.


Miami at Charlotte 7:00pm
Miami finally got one in the wins column, but it was a close one against a not so great Knicks team. The Heat's problem, as we all know, is that DO-Wayne Wade hasn't graced the court with his presence yet. Wade was cleared to play last week, but he hasn't given Pat Riley the green light to play him yet, and as Pat Riley said, "It's his call". The Bobcats are are an even 3-3, a full 2 games up on the Heat, and they seem to have rebounded from 2 horrible games against the 76ers and the Suns after Raymond Felton went down temporarily (he played 38 minutes last game). They played the Rockets tough to a 3 point loss, and beat the Pacers. They've already beaten Miami once in a close game, but they're coming together as a squad, and without Dwayne Wade on the court for the Heat, Charlotte should get above .500.
Player to watch: Anfrenee Hardaway-He's not going to put up big points anymore, and I doubt he'll be putting down any highlight reel dunks, but his stat line read 5pts, 4rbs, 6ast and 4stl in the win against the Knicks. He's not even close to the best player on the Heat's roster right now, but do yourself a favor and watch a player who truly loves the game of basketball, and just wants to do what he loves doing for as long as he can.

Houston at Memphis 8:00pm
The Grizzlies are not a bad team. Don't let the record fool you, and don't think the standings right now are even a solid indicator for where they stand. If you can forgive the young griz a freak loss against a plucky Blazers squad, the Grizzlies have only lost to winning teams. They also have the misfortune of playing in the toughest division in basketball, and they get to see that first hand when they face off against my Western Conference binky, the Houston Rockets. Pau Gasol hasn't found his happy place yet, and once he does this team will get better. Until then, they'll struggle against good teams, but don't forget this squad, and don't be surprised when they're in the playoff picture. The Rockets are playing well, especially Yao Ming, and that means trouble for every single team in the league. Rockets win, but the Grizzlies show some life tonight, just watch.
Player to watch: Pau Gasol-The Grizzlies' fortune ultimately lies with the performance of the 27 year old spaniard. Until he gets some serious consistency, the Grizzlies will go up and down, but mostly down. Here's hoping Gasol picks it up tonight, at least for the Grizzlies' stake.

Philadelphia at Dallas 8:30pm
Dallas is starting to come together, bit by bit. They're playing around with the lineups a bit (JJ Barea has 2 starts under his belt), playing with their philosophies some, but they're coming together. They've got a tough win over the Rockets and a much needed revenge win over the Warriors, other than that they've beaten the people they're supposed to, other than 2 freak road losses. If Dallas were going to Philadelphia, I'd give them a slim chance at the upset but since its a home game for the Mavs, I don't see anything strange happening tonight, Mavs win.
Player to watch: Josh Howard-Since missing the first 2 games of the season, Howard has averaged 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists per. This is on 51% shooting. Howard is the Mav's most consistent offensive option, and that includes Dirk Nowitzki.

LA Lakers at San Antonio 8:30pm
The Lakers have had maybe the worst schedules in the whole league so far, and they've made lemonade with a 3-2 showing, They go against the best around in the Spurs tonight, but at least they'll be ready. The Spurs are 6-1, sharing the lead in the SouthBestern with the only team they've lost to so far; the Houston Rockets. The Lakers have the first game tonight of maybe the worst back to back in the NBA, facing off against the Rockets tomorrow, and really it would be a best case scenario for them to pull out just one game. If they do, I don't think it will be against a rested Spurs squad at home.
Player to watch: Lamar Odom-Mr. Versatile will play in his second game of the season tonight, and this is coming off a solid 37 minute 18-10 performance last Friday. If Odom can keep up these numbers, +4 assists, I imagine Kobe Bryant won't be asking to be traded again anytime soon.

NY Knicks at Phoenix 9:00pm
The New York Knicks are 2-2 at home, and they're 0-1 on the road. They haven't beaten a team by more than 7 points, and have not lost by more than 10. In short, the Knicks are about as mediocre as ramen noodles. They're the 40 degree day of professional basketball. Phoenix is pretty much guaranteed a win if they can score 100 points, and in 3 of 5 games New York has allowed 100 points or more from an opponent. Seems like a win for Phoenix.
Player to watch: Leandro Barbosa-Notice to Raja Bell: Watch your step. Barbosa started in Bell's place against the Magic, and what happened? 39 points 7 boards and 2 steals. Since Raja Bell is still nursing his ankle injury and should see limited action at best, look for Barbosa to show Jamal Crawford what actual talent on the wing looks like.

Detroit at Portland 10:00pm
Detroit has nobody averaging over 8 rebounds, 7 assists, or 2 blocks per game, but they also have nobody averaging over 2.2 turnovers. They're 5-1 and playing well as a team. Besides letting the Bulls on the board with a win on them last Thursday, the Pistons have been on a roll, beating the guys they're supposed to (which is what really good basketball teams do). The Blazers are one of those teams the Pistons are supposed to be able to beat, but the problem is that the Blazers are beating guys they're supposed to lose to so far this season. They've beaten a very good teams in New Orleans and Dallas, personally I think they've also beaten a decent team in Memphis. The Pistons have been beating the teams they're supposed to, but how are they going to handle a squad on the road thats on a 3 game winning streak? They're not. Blazers to win.
Player to watch: Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo-The youth movement most likely to succeed in the NBA this season? The Detroit young guns are all coming along the right way: surrounded by veterans that know how to win, and know how to lead. They're averaging 13 minutes and change so far this season, they're 2 of the 5 main backups off the bench, and Amir Johnson is just getting over an ankle injury. Against a good rotation of athletic post players in Portland could lure some of these guys off the bench early and often tonight.

Thats it for the previews tonight, The game I know I'm going to be watching, other than the Celtics, is going to be the Blazers-Pistons, as its my upset special. Also going to check out Reaper, and so should the rest of you. Be sure to check out the games thread for any thoughts or comments.