Massive 10 game slate in the NBA this Saturday, the 11th of January, headlined by the Mavericks hosting the Lakers from 1.45pm! We have a full preview and betting tips for some of the key matchups of the day below.
Jimmy Butler and the Heat are playing with a massive chip on their shoulder at the moment. The star guard got into a social media stoush with the Pacers fowrard T.J. Warren on Thursday and if there is any player in the league that gets fueled by this type of behaviour, it's Butler.
The Heat have won their last two on the trot and eight of their last 10 to currently sit 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a 27-10 record. They have one of the best defences in the league, allowing just over 110 points per game and have racked up double digit wins over the Pacers and Blazers in their last two.
The Nets sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have lost thier last seven games in a row including a horrific loss to the Knicks in which they mustered only 82 points. In fact, over that seven game stretch, they have averaged exactly 100 points per game, which would be the lowest mark in the league by 3 full points if it were a season average. To make matters worse, Kyrie Irving will also be out for this clash. Hard to believe the Heat are only 3 point favourites here.
The game of the day sees the Lakers travelling to Dallas to take on the Mavericks from 1.45pm. The Lakers sit atop the Western Confernece with a 30-7 record but could be without one or both of thier stars tomorrow as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis are listed as questionable. The Lakers have a back to back with a game against the Thunder on Sunday, so they could stagger the pair to play in one game each.
Regardless, we think at least one of them plays, which should be enough to get over the line against what is currently a battered Dallas Mavericks team. Luka Doncic will be ont he floor for the Mavs, but without centre Kristapz Porzingus, who is out with a knee injury, Dallas really lacks a second scoring option. They are just 5-5 over their last 10 games and have lost games to the Hornets and Nuggets at home in the last week.
With no Porzingus on the floor, the Lakers should be able to take the ball out of Doncic's hands with double teams and have plenty of defensive bodies to throw at him throughout the game in the likes of Avery Bradley and Danny Green. Back the Lakers to get the job done as underdogs on the road.
What was a great rivalry throughout the 2010s has faded somewhat this season with the downturn of the Warriors. The two sides have met just once this season, with the Clippers claiming a monster 19 points win on the road. They'll be back at Staples Center on Saturday, where they are 16-4 this season but they'll be without Paul George, who is battling a hamstring injury.
Even without George, the Clippers will be way too strong at home. The Warriors injury list is extensive with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney on the sidelines, and starting point guard D'Angelo Russel is currently listed as questionable for the game against the Clippers.
Expect the Clippers to get out to a big early lead here and Kawhi Leonard to take a back seat down the stretch. The star guard is still only avearging 31 minutes per game this season, which is down on the 34 he averaged last year and when the Clippers defeated the Warriors by 19 points at the start of the season, Leonard played just 21 minutes and scored just 21 points. Back him to allow Lou Williams to take control offensively and for him to go under the lofty 27.5 point line.
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