Feb 15-16, 2006 – Breaking Down the Games Before the All Star Break
Heat @ Magic: This should easily be the more contested of the two games between Miami and Orlando. Shaq comes back to Orlando, but that’s been done before. What will be interesting to see is how Grant Hill handles his first back-to-back since returning, and it’s the same team no less. He should get some rest, but Orlando will need him if they want to win.
expected Score: Orlando wins 89-87
Wizards @ Mavericks: Antawn Jamison can choose who he wants to be angry at: the East for not putting him on the All-Star team or Dallas for letting him go a few years ago. Either way I expect a good game from him. Haywood and Diop, the winner of that match-up could give their team the advantage.
expected Score: Dallas wins 106-102
Spurs @ 76ers: Bowen guards AI and Duncan covers C-Webb. Here lies the Sixers problem with thoroughness. With Steven Hunter gone and Willie Greene injured this team has nobody recognizable off the bench. That’s a little different with the Spurs, who could easily plug Finley, Muhammad, Van Exel or Barry into the starting lineup.
expected Score: San Antonio wins 97-87
76ers @ Bulls: Chicago has done what I thought they’d ultimately do, and that’s put Deng and Gordan into the starting five. Tyson Chandler will really have to keep Dalembert in check, since so much of Hinrich’s game is penetrating. AI should go all out on his last action until Sunday.
expected Score: Philadelphia wins 100-96
Rockets @ Suns: The Rockets could theoretically compete if T-Mac has a 40-pt game. And while that may not seem like the biggest stretch in the world, it’s nevertheless doubtful (already against the Suns). On national TV, McGrady will probably try to play the team game. And since their team is so awful, it should be over quickly.
expected Score: Phoenix wins 110-95