Yes, the NBA’s trade deadline came and went last Thursday, and Anthony Davis stayed with New Orleans. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t still be some player movement over the next couple of weeks via the buyout market. To be eligible for the postseason, a player must be on a team’s roster by March 1. So guys like Carmelo Anthony, etc., will be signing with contenders. Here’s a look at two interesting NBA matchups this week, which is abbreviated with the All-Star break. Check back for NBA odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 11th Edition
🎥 Kyle Kuzma came out on fire early today, dropping 23 of his 39 points in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/JX5fPFtt88— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) 10 de febrero de 2019
Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks
- When: Tuesday, 7:30 PM ET (NBA League Pass)
The Lakers basically offered the New Orleans Pelicans every player on their roster other than LeBron James for Anthony Davis but couldn’t get a deal done by last Thursday’s deadline. The team did acquire Mike Muscala from the Clippers and Reggie Bullock from the Pistons. Meh. Bullock started Sunday in Philadelphia, replacing Rajon Rondo. Both Bullock and Muscala are solid 3-point shooters but the Lakers still may not make the playoffs, and if they do probably lose in the first round.
The Hawks are terrible and will be picking very high in the 2019 draft, maybe even first. They look to avoid a season sweep vs. the Lakers as they were 107-106 losers in Los Angeles on Nov. 11. LeBron dunked for the winning basket with 15 seconds to go and Tyson Chandler blocked Trae Young’s driving layup to preserve the win.
James scored 26 points and Kyle Kuzma added 18 points. Chandler had three blocks. Kuzma’s layup tied the game at 104-all with 1:34 to go. Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 23 points, Kent Bazemore added 21 and Young had 20 for Atlanta. Los Angeles has won nine games this season after trailing by 10 or more points, highlighted by a season-best 18-point comeback on February 7 in Boston to edge out the Celtics, 129-128. Overall, the Lakers have won four games by double figures after trailing by at least 10 points in the contest.
This will be the 330th meeting between the Lakers and Hawks dating back to their days in Minneapolis and Tri-Cities/Milwaukee/St. Louis, respectively. Los Angeles leads the all-time series, 190-139. The Lakers have lost just one season series to the Hawks since the 1978-79 season, coming in 2015-16. Since the Hawks moved to Atlanta, the two teams have met 127 times with the Lakers leading the all-time series 80-48.
Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves
- When: Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Second of three meetings between these clubs. Minnesota won the first 103-91 at home on Dec. 3. That halted the Wolves’ six-game series drought and was just their second win in the teams’ past 16 regular season meetings.
Karl-Anthony Towns registered 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the Timberwolves erased a 14-point halftime deficit by limiting Houston to 29 second-half points in the win. Taj Gibson added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota while James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points and Clint Capela scored 24.
Minnesota is dealing with a handful of injuries. Guard Tyus Jones (ankle) is unlikely to return until after the All-Star break. Fellow point guards Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose also have missed time of late but should play. Robert Covington, acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade, was limited to going through shooting drills during Sunday’s practice. He’s dealing with a right knee bone bruise and has missed a month and a half. You won’t see him here.
Houston is still without Capela due to a right thumb injury. He was averaging 19.8 points and an amazing 78.8 percent shooting in his past five vs. Minnesota. Harden is averaging 36.6 points (1st in NBA), 7.8 assists (5th in NBA), 6.7 rebounds and 2.15 steals (3rd in NBA) this season. Michael Jordan (1988-89) is the only player to have averaged at least 30.0 ppg, 7.0 apg, 6.0 rpg, and 2.00 spg in a single season.
Harden is averaging 40.0 points over the past 33 games. That is tied with Elgin Baylor for the second-longest stretch of averaging 40+ points in NBA history. Only Wilt Chamberlain (515) did so over a longer span.
The Rockets are 6-6 when holding opponents below 20 assists this season. Houston was 26-3 when opponents had fewer than 20 assists in 17-18. Houston is 13-7 when having as many or more assists as opponents this season after going 37-4 when doing so in 2017-18.
Expert NBA Betting Predictions
Back Lakers and Wolves.
Other Top NBA Games
- Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers (Tuesday)
- Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers (Wednesday)
- Oklahoma City Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans (Thursday)