Top NBA predictions: Warriors keep it going, Bucks get back on track

Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Our NBA predictions for the 2021-22 season have seen mixed results with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks struggling. Out west, the Golden State Warriors are coming off a blowout win over the Nets in Brooklyn and boast a league-best 12-2 record.

Somewhere in between, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves on a cold streak while the Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to remain above water in the absence of LeBron James. Below, we look at NBA predictions for the next week of action.

Related: Updated Sportsnaut NBA power rankings

Philadelphia 76ers struggles continue out west

nba predictions: philadelphia 76ers continue to struggle
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It was just on Tuesday that Philadelphia fell to the Jazz in Utah by the score of 120-85. It won’t get any easier for a team that remains without Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. The 76ers remain out west until Nov. 24 with their road trip ending in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors. It won’t be easy sledding.

  • Denver Nuggets (9-5)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (7-8)
  • Sacramento Kings (6-8)
  • Golden State Warriors (12-2)

Having lost five in a row, we wouldn’t be surprised if Philadelphia dropped three of these four games. That would have the team under .500 heading back home for a mini two-game stand against the Timberwolves and Magic.

Related: Daily NBA, fantasy basketball picks

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors continue to exceed all preseason NBA predictions

nba predictions: golden state warriors keep it going
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After a two-year haitus from the top of the NBA standings, these Warriors appear to be back. Some believed that a soft early-season schedule impacted Golden State’s success. Recent wins against the Bulls and Nets by a combined 44 points changed that big time. From a statistical perspective, these Dubs have been elite.

Golden State Warriors stats

  • Points per game: 115.2 (1st)
  • Opponent points per game: 101.6 (3rd)
  • Point differential: 13.6 (1st)
  • Offensive rating: 112.7 (2nd)
  • Defensive rating: 99.5 (1st)
  • Net rating: 13.3 (1st)

We can go up and down the line, and these Warriors would be ranked near the top in every category. Stephen Curry is playing at an MVP level and could actually earn All-NBA Defensive Team honors. With back-to-back road games coming up against the Cavaliers and Pistons before a homestand consisting of the Raptors, 76ers and Blazers, we would not be shocked if the Dubs found themselves at 17-2 before a post-Thanksgiving road date with the Clippers.

Related: 2021-22 NBA MVP rankings

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks finally get it going

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

It has been pretty ugly for the Greek Freak and the defending champs thus far this season. Milwaukee boasts a 6-8 record. It ranks in the bottom half of points scored, points allowed, offensive rating and defensive rating.

To make matters even more disturbing, Milwaukee has dropped games to teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz. Just don’t expect this to continue. The Bucks have themselves a pretty favorable homestand with games coming up against the Lakers, Thunder, Magic (twice) and Pistons. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bucks swept that five-game set and found themselves well above .500.

Cade Cunningham enters NBA Rookie of the Year conversation

After missing five of the first six games of his rookie campaign due to injury, this No. 1 pick appears to be settling into form. If so, preseason NBA predictions of him earning Rookie of the Year honors might not be too far off.

Cade Cunningham stats

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Sure shooting has been somewhat of an issue for Cunningham (35%). But as you can tell, he’s rounding into form. Detroit has games against lackluster defenses in that of the Pacers and Lakers moving forward on the week. Look for Cunningham to continue stepping up.

NBA predictions for biggest games this week

NBA: Utah Jazz at Miami Heat
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
  • November 18: Miami Heat 115, Washington Wizards 111
  • November 18: Denver Nuggets 110, Philadelphia 76ers 102
  • November 19: Boston Celtics 117, Los Angeles Lakers 113
  • November 19: Phoenix Suns 114, Dallas Mavericks 102
  • November 20: Atlanta Hawks 117, Charlotte Hornets 115
  • November 21: Phoenix Suns 113, Denver Nuggets 108
  • November 21: Golden State Warriors 116, Toronto Raptors 102

WATCH: Sportsnaut’s Carolyn Manno on the latest NBA rumors