The 2015-16 NBA season continues this week with two primetime matches televised on ESPN in Australia. The Detroit Pistons are taking on the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. Continue reading for our NBA March 3rd Preview and Betting Tips.
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Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs (Thursday 12pm AEDT)
The Pistons are currently on a four game winning streak and are closing in on the top eight in the Eastern Conference. Andre Drummond is putting up monster numbers and is dominating the glass when he is on the court. However, his biggest downfall is his free throw shooting, as he is just shooting 35.9% from the line. He will need to improve in this area to prevent the “hack-a-Shaq” strategy being used against him and there is no side in the league that utilises it more than the Spurs.
If Drummond is forced from the court as he is likely to miss a lot of free throws than the Spurs will be able to go on a run and use their big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan more effectively. Khawai Leonard is continuing to improve and is considered by many experts as the best two-way player in the league as his scoring continues to develop whilst he has always been a strong defender. The Spurs will win this one but the Pistons will keep it closer than expected.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers (Thursday 2.30pm AEDT)
The Thunder has fallen into a slump since the All-Star break and have lost four of their past five matches including two against the Warriors but it took a couple of miracles from Stephen Curry to beat them in their last outing against the defending champions. However, the Thunder can be forgiven with the events that have taken place to assistant coaches Monty Williams and Mo Cheeks.
Russell Westbrook is having an incredible season and posted his 9th triple double of the season in their win against the Kings. He is averaging close to 24 points, 10 assist and seven rebounds and he will finish the season in second place behind Stephen Curry in the MVP voting.
Meanwhile the Clippers are continuing to grow despite not having Blake Griffin at their disposal. It could be a blessing in disguise for the team as they are learning to win without the big man. Chris Paul will need to be huge in this one as he takes on Westbrook but Jeff Green could prove to be the most important as he was brought in for his defence and he will need to contain former MVP of the league Kevin Durant. However, we believe the Thunder will overcome their recent issues and pull off a massive win on the road.
Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics (Thursday 11.30am AEDT)
The Trail Blazers will be playing their second match of a back-to-back with both matches being played on the road. The side has been the second best team in the league over the past month and have gone 13-2 including a win over the Warriors.
Meanwhile the Celtics have shot up the ladder in the Eastern Conference and have gone 12-4 in their last 16 matches. Despite the Celtics being involved in a lot of trade rumours, they weren’t involved in any and have stood pat with the side they have for the rest of the season. They are currently sitting in third place in the Eastern conference and they seem as if they are the only other side that can challenge the Cavaliers or Raptors. They are 20-10 at home and with the Blazers coming off a back-to-back we expect the Celtics to earn a narrow victory.
Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks (Thursday 12pm AEDT)
The Bucks are a growing side that has been hard to beat at home this season. Coming off an ACL tear Jabari Parker is beginning to find confidence again and has been putting up constant double doubles for his team. Meanwhile Giannis Antetokounmpo has been given more of the reigns and that saw him put up a huge triple double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, although it was against the Lakers. The Bucks earned a victory in their last start against the Rockets and they will no doubt put up a fight against the Pacers.
Paul George has been continuing to put up big numbers all season and if it wasn’t for his three pointer being disallowed, they could have easily defeated the Cavaliers on their home court. However, George who is known as a solid defender was caught out on numerous occasions against Lebron James but he will face an easier but still strong opponent Khris Middleton.
The Pacers are the stronger side and are favourites to earn the victory in this one. However, they are 13-18 on the road whilst the Bucks are 17-10 at home. We will stick with the statistics and predict an upset in this one.
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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