Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets
It’s become increasingly hard to handicap these Brooklyn Nets, as a mixture of injuries, personal issues, and everything in between have muddled the availability of their three superstars — James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant.
Harden had a setback recovering from a lingering hamstring injury, and likely won’t suit up until the playoffs.
This could become an issue for Steve Nash’s team come the postseason, as the three have only played in a handful of games together, making potential chemistry issues a legitimate concern.
Nonetheless, we do know that Irving is healthy — which immediately makes these Nets a tough out.
Durant’s availability will be up in the air after missing their last game in New Orleans, as a leg contusion suffered in Miami Sunday abruptly sidelined him.
On the other hand, Boston’s struggles have lingered far longer than any NBA fan initially imagined, as they’re barely clinging to a top-six seed in the East.
They seemed to have turned a corner last week when they won six straight, but a disappointing home loss to the lowly Bulls quickly put an end to that momentum.
Believe it or not, this could be a first-round playoff preview, which I’m sure neither team is thrilled about, making Friday’s matchup all the more interesting.
Look for Boston, who’s far more desperate, to have all hands on deck Friday at Barclays, and I like the prospects of them taking this one, as the Nets seem mentally checked out till playoff time.
The Pick: Boston Celtics Moneyline
Denver Nuggets vs Golden State Warriors
Next, we head west where the two likely favorites for this year’s MVP, Nikola Jokic and Steph Curry, square off in a pivotal Western Conference showdown.
Curry’s Warriors still have work to do if they are to reach the postseason, whereas Jokic’s Nuggets are squarely in the playoff field.
This could be the deciding factor in who eventually hoists the MVP trophy this year, as Jokic’s Nugs are nearly nine games clear of Curry’s Dubs.
This will be an extremely exciting matchup and could be the marquee moment of this year’s MVP race.
You won’t want to miss this one.
The Pick: Nikola Jokic and Steph Curry to go over their points prop