The NBA Trade Deadline was last Thursday but that doesn’t mean teams are done making additions. There’s the buyout market, with names like Dion Waiters and Reggie Jackson among those available. Expect the Lakers to add one of those two after Darren Collison said he would stay retired. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the NBA this week. Check back for NBA betting odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 10th Edition
Boston vs Houston
- When: Tuesday, 9:30 PM ET (TNT)
Second game of a TNT doubleheader on Tuesday. Boston is playing as well as anyone right now, having won seven straight. It was a 112-111 victory in Oklahoma City on Sunday. Gordon Hayward was back after missing Friday with a minor injury and had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Marcus Smart recorded his fifth game-winning defensive play of the season on Sunday. He closed out the game and stole the ball from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 5.8 seconds left to ensure the win for Boston.
Daniel Theis (ankle) posted a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double over 30 minutes in his return from a two-game injury absence. Jaylen Brown is dealing with injuries to both ankles and he’s questionable to play vs. the Rockets. “I rolled my left [ankle on Sunday] trying to compensate for the right one,” Brown said. “I don’t know what side to limp on right now.”
Houston lost its second in a row Sunday, 114-113 at home to Utah. Bojan Bogdanovic made a 3-pointer at the buzzer. It came after P.J. Tucker’s 3-pointer from the corner gave Houston a two-point lead with 1.6 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, Bogdanovic came off a screen and hit a contested 29-footer to give the Jazz the win.
James Harden notched his third triple-double of the season on Sunday with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Eric Gordon (lower left leg injury) was out after getting hurt on Friday vs. Phoenix, though he said he’s simply “day-to-day” with the injury. Russell Westbrook had 39 points in the loss. He was out Friday with a minor injury.
Over his past seven games played, Westbrook is averaging 35.7 points on 52.0% shooting… has scored 30+ points while shooting 50.0% or better 10 times this season, including eight since the start of January, but Rockets are 3-7 in those games.
This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. The Rockets have won three straight vs. Boston after losing three of the previous five meetings. Houston has swept 3 of the past 6 season series after doing so once the 10 seasons prior. The Rockets have won six of the past seven at home after losing 4 straight from 2/26/07-3/19/10.
LA Lakers at Denver
- When: Wednesday, 10 PM ET
We mentioned Dion Waiters above and Lakers are reportedly expected to have exploratory conversations with the former Heat guard once he clears waivers. The Lakers have been seeking to add another ball handler for a while, and with Darren Collison affirming that he’ll remain retired, they’ll now shift their focus to Waiters.
The Lakers and Nuggets have met 177 times in the regular season, with the Lakers leading the all-time series 106-71. In Denver, the Lakers are 3-7 in their last 10 regular season road games at Pepsi Center. The Lakers and Nuggets have met in the postseason six times (1979, 1985, 1987, 2008, 2009 and 2012) with the Lakers advancing on each occasion, most recently defeating Denver 4-3 in the 2012 Western Conference First Round.
Lakers center JaVale McGee played with Denver for four seasons (2011-15), appearing in 121 games (10 starts) and averaging 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.77 blocks in 17.5 minutes.
Denver could be without a couple of rotation guys here. Good-looking rookie Michael Porter Jr. (right ankle) missed his fifth in a row Monday. The team may just have him skip the final two games heading into the All-Star break. In addition, Will Barton was out Monday with a right knee issue.
Meanwhile, among centers, Nikola Jokic ranks first in assists per game (6.6), fourth in points per game (20.0), fifth in steals per game (1.08), fifth in double-doubles (29) and 12th in rebounds per game (10.0). Jokic becomes the 10th Nuggets player ever selected to multiple All-Star games and the first in consecutive seasons since Carmelo Anthony.
Jokic has been nothing clutch this season as he has been the main reason why Denver is 9-4 in games decided by four points or less. In clutch time, which is defined as the last five minutes of any game in which the two teams are separated by five points or less, Jokic has played a total of 11 minutes (5th in the NBA) and has 107 points while shooting 37-69 from the field, 5-14 from three-point range, grabbing 27 rebounds and dishing out 18 assists.
Expert Picks for NBA Week 17
Back both home teams.