Bucks @ Blazers: Portland played well enough against the Bucks last Saturday to show they can win this game at home. Hopefully, the Blazers won’t need to rely on Darius Miles to show up, as their big games rarely result in a win. Portland has yet to show that getting rid of Ruben Patterson won’t hurt them in the long run. This will be a close game with the home team winning this non-conference game.

Predicted score: Portland wins 87-83

Lakers @ Celtics: Perhaps the Celtics and Lakers are no longer a rivalry. It doesn’t matter because with Pierce and Kobe all any team needs is another superstar. Odom and Szczerbiak have potential, though scores consistent enough to become one. Who will score more: Bryant or Pierce? The response team should win the game. Boston is going to be in its first homecoming game after a long road trip.

Predicted score: Boston win 98-93

Clippers @ Rockets: Despite all the horrible things that happened with the Rockets, Houston is not that far from the playoffs. But just watching them play you can tell they don’t stand a chance without McGrady. Yao has been in a torrent lately and needs to continue to rebound over Chris Kaman. Still a blowout.

Predicted Score: LA Clippers win 96-82

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