After going an unimpressive 2-2 on Opening Night, thanks to the Wizards and Celtics posting upsets, here are my predictions for tonight’s dozen games.
OKC 96, Sacramento 91: The Kings dominated the final preaseson game but the Thunder played with no emotion. Tonight, the atmosphere will be electric. It won’t be easy but the Thunder starts 1-0.
Cleveland 96, Toronto 93: For the second straight night the Cavs are involved in one of the best games. The Raptors, opening at home, are much improved. If Toronto wins an 0-2 start for the Shaq/LeBron Cavs would be placed under much national scrutiny.
Orlando 94, Philadelphia 88: The Sixers are erratic and sometimes pull off upsets but the Magic is always tough at home.
Boston 98, Charlotte 90: The Celtics overcame an early 14-point deficit and looked impressive in Cleveland. They won’t slip up in their home opener.
San Antonio 96., New Orleans 84: There’s good vibes in the Alamo City following some off-season moves, bad vibes in the Big Easy where Emeka Okafor didn’t practice much all preseason. Spurs win easily.
Denver 106, Utah 97: The Nuggets hope to build on their solid trip to the Western finals last year. The Jazz is tough at home but often struggles on the road. Melo and Chauncey start 1-0.
Clippers 103, Phoenix 100: A coin toss game. I’ll go with the Clippers at home. Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman played well in the opener against the Lakers.
Miami 108, New York 102: This could be the highest scoring game of the night. D-Wade might score 40.
Atlanta 101, Indiana 94: The Hawks are trying to crack the top three in the East. Jamal Crawford makes his Atlanta debut.
Memphis 95, Detroit 93: My upset special. Allen Iverson (torn hamstring) won’t play but Grizzlies still squeak out a win to boost fan morale.
Golden State 110, Houston 104: Another high-scoring, run-and-gun game. The Rockets trailed by double digits much of their opener at Portland.
New Jersey 97, Minnesota 95: The Timberwolves are favored at home but the Nets, led by Brook Lopez and Devin Harris, post the upset.