Another disappointing day for NBA Tips on Thursday saw us go 1-2 on the slate as the Clippers were upset by the Bucks and the Blazers overcame the Spurs. We will be aiming for a bounce back day here as we preview some of the key matchups in Saturday, the 18th of March’s 8 game NBA slate.
The Raptors will travel to Detroit Saturday to take on the Pistons in the ESPN televised game. Toronto suffered a 21 point beat down at the hands of OKC on Friday and will be on the road for the 2nd day of a back to back here. The Canadian team has been pretty inconsistent since the All-Star break, going 5-5 with losses to Eastern rivals in the Wizards, Bucks, Hawks and Heat to see them fall to 4th in the Conference.
The Pistons have had similar fortunes since the break, going 6-5 with some tough losses to good teams in the Celtics, Cavs and Jazz along the way. The Raps have really been struggling without star point guard Kyle Lowry lately and the Pistons have a fully clean bill of health and the added benefit of an extra days rest and the home court advantage here. Even as home favourites here we expect them to cover.
At 11-30 on the season, Miami were strongly thinking of tanking the rest of 2017 and moving forward with some high draft picks. Since then, the Heat have 22-5 and have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA. They have beaten nearly all of the top teams in the league throughout the run with their 5 losses coming to the weaker teams in the 76ers, Magic ad Mavericks.
They come up against the Timberwolves Saturday who suffered a 13-point loss to the Celtics on Thursday. Apart from that slip up, however, Minnesota have largely been getting the job done post All-Star break. They have great wins over the Jazz, Clippers, Warriors and Wizards in the last few weeks. Both teams will be coming into the game off a day’s rest and are really evenly matched so we’ll take the home court advantage here and back the Heat to cover a 4.5 point line.
It won’t be a very pretty game to watch by any stretch of the imagination, but we do see some value in the Celtics travelling to Brooklyn to take on the Nets. The Celts have been going about their business since the All-Star break, and Isaiah Thomas has been cementing his case as an MVP candidate. He’ll be out for the next few games, however, with a bruised knee, which opens up a lot of options for the Celtics scoring wise.
The pocket dynamo has top scored in the last 33 Celtics games, meaning there will be a gaping hole in points and minutes to be filled by someone in the line up. We are banking on it being starting shooting guard Avery Bradley, who has had his fair share of 20+ point games this year as well. Bradley will get a large portion of the ball handling responsibilities in Thomas’ absence and we expect him to surpass his player performance line for points.
Note: Bradley's line ended up being too high for our liking so we stayed away here.
TIP: No bet
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