A full slate of mid-week NBA games last night saw the Utah Jazz once again punctuating their dominance of the NBA this season by defeating the LA Clippers by 18 points. After last night’s performances, there are only three games on tap tonight. It is curious why the league is not using such a sparse night to play a couple of make-up games for those that have been postponed.
Bucks To Give The Raptors Trouble
The Toronto Raptors visit the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee tonight for the second of a two-game series which began on Tuesday. The Raptors defeated the Bucks by a final score of 124-113 in that game, which featured a 33-point performance from Toronto’s Fred VanVleet. The Raptors are looking to sweep the Bucks, likely without the services of All-Star Kyle Lowery, who suffered a sprained ankle in Tuesday night’s action.
However, tonight the Bucks are 6-point home court favorites with the Over/Under now at a high 235 for the contest. Oddsmakers have the moneylines at Milwaukee -240 & Toronto +195.
Heat And Warriors To Do Battle
The 11-17 Miami Heat lost ugly to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday evening by allowing a 19-point lead to slip away on them before eventually losing the game in overtime. Tonight, they will be out in Sacramento to take on the 12-15 Kings in an attempt at some recovery.
Oddsmakers have the game as very tight, only allowing only a one-point road advantage to the visiting Miami team. The moneylines are only Miami -114 & Sacramento -106, with the Over/Under set at 225.5. This should be an interesting game to watch.
Nets Prepare For The Lakers
Finally, there is another battle of the titans, as the 18-12 Brooklyn Nets travel out to LA to take on the 22-7 Lakers at the Staples Center in a star-studded evening of NBA action. The Lakers are listed as 2.5-point home court favorites, even without the services of Anthony Davis, and the Over/Under is at 233. Oddsmakers have the moneylines at Lakers -136 & Nets +114.
NBA Trade Deadline Approaches
There is another trade deadline coming up in just a few short weeks for all NBA teams. During trade negotiations, the NBA often looks more like a poker game than a basketball game. For some teams, there are many factors to be considered, others do not have those types of options and must do what they think is necessary to survive in one of the world’s toughest professional sports leagues.
Often, what a team does during trade negotiations will go a long ways towards determining what kind of a season the club will have next year. Trading the wrong player at the wrong time could mean yet another sub .500 year for players, coaches and fans to endure. Making just the right moves could put a team squarely in the running for the NBA Finals next year.
30 Players Might Be Up For Grabs
At present there are about 30 players whose names come up when discussions about trading begin. Some of those guys are local fan favorites and, just because their numbers aren’t way up there this year, they may get traded away, much to the chagrin of loyal fans.
Among the names being thrown around is Jeff Teague. He could be relieved of his duties as a backup point guard for the Boston Celtics, although no target is yet known. Kevin Knox is another potential candidate as the New York Knicks look to strengthen their chances to make the playoffs.
Rockets, Heat And Others May Want To Deal
P.J. Tucker has had a good run with the Houston Rockets, but his time may be coming. Kelly Olynyk, center for the Heat, has some skills, but his contract is coming to an end, which could make him a candidate to be traded. The San Antonio Spurs might also consider losing Rudy Gay, who, while having helped his team significantly, might find his talents better served elsewhere.
The Clippers haven’t put Ivica Zubac on the court that much this season, even though he has already proven himself to be a worthy shooter. However, because of his lack of participation, the Clippers may look to let him go. Another California prodigy, Kelly Oubre Jr. of the Warriors, is a possible trade target, since his contract is about to expire.