The NBA regular season returns for the final 30 games after an eventful All-Star break. On Saturday night, the Miami duo of Derrick Jones Jr. and Bam Adebayo came away with Dunk Contest and Skills Challenge gongs while Sacramento’s Buddy Hield won the 3-Point Contest in exciting fashion.
After a week off for the rest of the league, it’s back to business as teams make a final push for the playoff spots.
Let’s see if we can continue our good run of picks after going three from three last week.
Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers
20th February 2020 8:05PM
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will be back in the same uniform tonight after facing each other on Sunday in the All-Star game. Simmons emerged the winner on Team LeBron but Embiid was one of the standout players in the epic 4th Quarter. Unfortunately for Brett Brown, the conundrum of playing them together is still an issue that has to be resolved.
They come up against a Nets side in great shape. Kenny Atkinson’s team have won seven of their last ten and currently sit in 7th in the Eastern Conference. It was announced this week that summer acquisition Kyrie Irving has once again injured his shoulder and he will be out indefinitely.
The Nets have been able to rely on the likes of Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris to provide the scoring in Kyrie’s absence. The Nets will be confident having picked up a win against the Raptors just before the All-Star break.
Looking ahead to this one, we fancy the 76ers to get the win on home court. Embiid, Simmons, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson provide too much offense for the Nets to handle. Bet on the Sixers (-8) at -110 with CanPlay.
Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
20th February 2020 10:35PM
Houston travels to San Francisco to face the Warriors on Thursday night. This rivalry has been the key match up in the Western Conference for a number of seasons. However, the dynamic has shifted this year with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson missing out through injury for Steve Kerr’s team and Kevin Durant departing for Brooklyn.
The Warriors pre-season acquisition, D’Angelo Russell, has already left for pastures new. That leaves Kerr with a core of Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins to work with. It’s no surprise then that Golden State find themselves at the bottom of the NBA rankings with a 12-43 record.
The result here should be a foregone conclusion. D’Antoni’s team have been in good form with eight wins in their last twelve including a big win over the Boston Celtics last Wednesday. James Harden scored 42 points against that tough Celtics’ defense and we can expect another 30+ point game from him. Bet on the Rockets (-10) at -109 with CanPlay.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Los Angeles Lakers
21st February 2020 10:35PM
Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies head to the Staples Center to face the Lakers in a potential dress rehearsal of the Western Conference playoffs. If seedings stay the same for the next few months then the Lakers (1st) will host the Grizzlies (8th) in the 1st Round.
These are two of the form teams in the league. The Lakers have won seven of their last ten while the Grizzlies are 8-2 over the last ten games. A playoff run may be out of the question for the Grizzlies young core but they are building an exciting roster for the future. Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks are all tipped to make All-Star appearances in the not too distant future.
However, back in the present, the Lakers are one of the favourites to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy and they will be too strong for the young Memphis team. Back the Lakers to win with CanPlay.