At the top of the NBA remains the ongoing bad news stemming from COVID-19 issues, which have forced the NBA to postpone the fifth straight game for the Memphis Grizzlies. There have now been a total of 21 scheduled contests called off all together because of this coronavirus situation, and there is no end in sight. Every team in the NBA has been affected directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, tonight the NBA is offering us a full slate of 10 games with only one contest, between the Sacramento Kings and the Grizzlies, postponed as per a mandate by the league office.
Raptors Look For An Upset
Hot matchups for the evening’s games will feature the 7-9 Toronto Raptors at the 9-7 Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. The Raptors have won 5 of their last 6 games and also took the series opener on Sunday from the Pacers. They are 2.5-point favorites for the game tonight, according to Unibet. The moneyline for tonight’s game gives Indiana the advantage at -135.
Joel Embiid and the 12-5 Philadelphia 76ers (-250), with their All-Star cast, will be in Detroit to challenge the 3-13 Pistons (+205), while the 7-9 Charlotte Hornets (-112) are traveling with Gordon Hayward down to Orlando to take on the 7-10 Magic (-107) in a game where the Magic are favored by just a half-point.
The 9-7 Denver Nuggets with Nikola Jokic visit the 8-8 Dallas Mavericks with Luca Doncic as 1.5-point favorites and the 9-8 San Antonio Spurs, with DeMar DeRozan, travel to New Orleans to take on the 5-10 Pelicans as 2.5-point underdogs. New Orleans is featuring first-round draft pick big Zion Williamson and the talented Brandon Ingram, who came to the Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade.
Heat Expected To Fall
Also on tonight, with slightly longer odds, are the 6-9 Miami Heat (+245) and the exciting Jimmy Butler in Brooklyn to take on the 10-8 Nets (-305), still struggling with how to mold their uber-talented roster into a cohesive basketball team. However, the Nets are still favored by 7.5 points in tonight’s contest. With the trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, enough to scare most rookies right off the basketball court, the Nets are going to make some noise before this season is over.
The league-leading 13-4 LA Lakers (-590) will visit Cleveland to take on an 8-8 Cavaliers (+430), which has just beaten the talented Nets team two in a row. Collin Sexton and Andre Drummond make a formidable dynamic duo for the Cavs this year. If the rest of the team steps up, Cleveland could be there at the end.
The combination of Davis, Dennis Schroder and LeBron James should be flexing its considerable NBA muscle sometime pretty soon. Expect the Lakers to be there in the NBA Finals this year once again.
Boston And Chicago Do Battle
Also, the 9-6 Boston Celtics (-200) will visit the 7-9 Chicago Bulls (+165) in the Windy City. Jason Tatum will try to hold the line for the Celtics and Zach LeVine will be holding on for the Bulls.
Out west, the 4-11 Minnesota Timberwolves (+320) will see what they can do against the 8-8 Golden State Warriors (-420) in San Francisco. The Warriors have the unbeatable Stephen Curry, who can explode at any time if left alone too much. The Timberwolves still have Center Karl Anthony-Towns, but the 6’11’’ big man has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he will not be available for the game tonight.
Finally, the 6-9 Oklahoma City Thunder (+175), featuring the surprising Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, will be in Portland tonight. They take on the 9-6 Trailblazers (-210), with yet another dynamic duo in Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony.
It is still too early to speculate about which of these teams with end up in the Finals this year. However, the ever-changing lineups and the constant threat of COVID-19 have already made this an NBA season to remember.