The All-Star Break is officially over, and it’s time to get back into the NBA swing of things. The second half of the season is here, with the race for the postseason picking up. Looking at tonight’s lineup, there are a few games worth highlighting.
Nets Meet the Celtics
On Thursday night, the Brooklyn Nets will open their final stretch of the regular season against the Boston Celtics. The Nets won’t have Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Goran Dragic and Kyrie Irving.
The Celtics are 100% healthy. Boston had won nine of their ten previous games and was fully healthy when they went into the All-Star break. Brooklyn is lacking star power, and the Celtics are the most formidable opponent in the NBA right now.
The Celtics take this one without any difficulty in our first NBA picks this week.
Oklahoma City Facing Challenges
The Phoenix Suns are on fire since they won 18 of their 19 previous games. They will be looking to continue their seven-game winning streak, which began Wednesday when they beat the Rockets 124-121 at home.
On the other hand, the Oklahoma City Thunder are in a serious slump. They’ve lost six of seven games and are looking to rebound after being stopped by the Spurs in a home loss of 114-106 on Wednesday. Tre Mann was the team’s leader with 24 points. Theo Maledon had 22 points from the bench, while Josh Giddey scored a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. However, the Thunder shot just 39% from the floor as a group.
The Suns will keep their streak alive.
Bulls and Hawks to Put on a Show
The Atlanta Hawks are in a bit of a slump, dropping four of seven of their last seven games. However, they will be looking for their third consecutive victory after a win over the Magic on Wednesday. The Hawks shot 50% from the field in that game, and they were dominant right from the beginning. They had a 19-point lead at halftime and kept the pressure up for the remainder of the game.
The Chicago Bulls have been playing well as they won 10 out of their past 14 games. Now, they are eager to continue their five-game win streak. On Wednesday, they defeated the Kings 125 to 118 at home, shooting 50% from the floor as a group.
Both teams are in great shape and this is going to be a great matchup. However, the Bulls are going to edge out the Hawks for the win.