Though NBA teams know that winning all 82 games is almost impossible, they still like to keep their undefeated streak going as long as possible when the season starts. Right now, the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers have yet to lose a game. On Monday night, they will try to keep that streak going.
Sacramento Kings vs Atlanta Hawks
A difficult stretch of the season has come quick for the Kings. They are playing five straight games on the road, as reported by SB Nation. The first one comes tonight against a Hawks team that traded away guard Jeff Teague and allowed center Al Horford to leave via free agency. While Sacramento has looked improved thus far, they should still not overlook at Atlanta squad that still has a lot of talent and a great head coach in Mike Budenholzer.
The key matchup will be between Hawks forward Paul Millsap and Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins. Both can score plenty of points. Both are versatile, which means that there will be extra work needed on the defensive side of the ball. Hawks center Dwight Howard will more than likely get his turn defending Cousins as well.
Chicago Bulls vs Brooklyn Nets
Showing a better ability to put up points than initially thought, the Bulls are going for their third straight victory to start the NBA regular season, as reported by FanSided. Considering the difference in the level of talent on the two rosters, there is a very good chance that Chicago will be celebrating after playing the Nets.
The key matchup will be between Bulls center Robin Lopez and Nets center Brook Lopez. It is usually entertaining when the twin brothers go up against one another. Brook will need to have a very good game against Robin so that Chicago perimeter players have to sink down into the paint to provide help defense. That could free things up for Jeremy Lin, who has a tough defender in Rajon Rondo guarding him tonight.
Denver Nuggets vs Toronto Raptors
Disappointed by not being able to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors are hoping to turn things around quickly, as reported by Fox Sports. They should be able to do that on Monday night at home against the Nuggets. Denver has a lot of talent on their roster, but they are not as used to winning as Toronto has been as of late.
The key matchup will be between Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. Mudiay has a bright future ahead of him in the NBA, but right now, he is just a 20-year-old player. There is much to learn. Lowry, on the other hand, has a lot more experience and has been an All Star. Mudiay will need to slow down Lowry if Denver want a chance at beating Toronto.
Phoenix Suns vs Los Angeles Clippers
These two teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum right now, according to SB Nation. The Suns have not been to the NBA Playoffs since 2010, while the Clippers have been perennial contenders since 2012. While not impossible, it would be considered an upset if Phoenix were to beat Los Angeles, a team led by Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, one of the best trios in the National Basketball Association.
The key match up here will be at the point guard position. The Suns have to figure out how to slow down Chris Paul. Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe will be assigned with that tough task. The two of them will also need to look out for their own offensive production because the Clippers can put up a good amount of points.
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