IT is Super Saturday in the NBA and guess what that means?
Another chance to win some coin on a sweet multi.
Paul George and the Indiana Pacers head to Atlanta to take on the Atlanta Hawks on their home court, with the Miami Heat visiting the Charlotte Hornets, the Blake Griffin-less Los Angeles Clippers heading over to Orlando to face the Magic, with John Wall’s Washington Wizards welcoming the worst team in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Those are the four games kicking off at 11am, but there are still six other shindigs to peruse.
DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings kick of against the woeful Brooklyn Nets in New York, eastern conference rivals Boston and Cleveland go head to head at Quicken Loans Arena and the Memphis Grizzlies also have a New York trip to take on the Knicks.
Following those games, the Chicago Bulls take on the Nuggets in Denver, the Utah Jazz welcome the Milwaukee Bucks and the Texas titans face off in Dallas, with the Mavericks meeting the dominant San Antonio Spurs.
Here are our picks for the day.
Indiana Pacers +4.5 ($1.91)
Orlando Magic +4 ($1.91)
Washington -9 ($1.91)
San Antonio Spurs -6.5 ($1.91)
Multi total @ Sportsbet.com.au = $13.30
Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks
Our tip: Indiana Pacers +4.5 ($1.91)
Two eastern conference teams that have not been that dissimilar this season match up in this one, with both having arrested a poor slide with recent wins. The Hawks actually lead the southeast at 29-22, while the Pacers are only third in the tough central division, but have only won three fewer games that their opponent. And these two teams only met just over a week ago in Indiana, the Pacers pumping the Hawks, 111-92. In that match, superstar Paul George was very quiet, managing just 11 points on 2/13 shooting, with Monta Ellis (25 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals) and emerging rookie Myles Turner (20 points, six boards), doing much of the heavy lifting. The Hawks got 20 points and five dimes out of Jeff Teague, but their usually imposing frontline of Paul Millsap and Al Horford failed to fire. That result gives us the confidence that the Pacers can head away from home and, at the very least, keep it close. They have won three of their last four matches, only falling to Lebron and the Cavs, 111-106, in an over time result that could have gone either way. The Hawks, meanwhile, had lost five of six until back to back wins over the Mavericks and the 76ers got them back on track. We still feel there’s something not quite right with them and reckon the Pacers are a chance of an upset on the road. Back them with a few points to give yourself a buffer.
Los Angeles Clippers at Orlando Magic
Our tip: Orlando Magic +4 ($1.91)
How stiff are the Magic? They arrest a disgusting eight game slide (and losing 12 of 13) with a win over the Boston Celtics and then they have to deal with two of the west’s three best teams in the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. But at least there are some signs of life. They kept is close agains the Spurs before their more seasoned opponents ran away with it in the last, and it took a deep Kevin Durant dagger with one second on the clock for the Thunder to banish them 117-114. They almost with stood a massive triple double from Russell Westbrook (24 points, 19 rebounds, 14 assists) and 37 from Durant, with young star Victor Oladipo leading the way with 37 of his own. They had even contributions across the board, including 16 off the bench from up and coming European rookie Super Mario Hezonja. Despite having no Blake Griffin, the Clippers have actually been very successful, with unheralded players stepping up each night to fill the injured dunking machine’s void. They managed four wins on the trot, before a costly technical foul from noted whinger Chris Paul ruined their hopes against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves. He copped a tech for an ‘overt clap’ at the female referee and that gave the T-Wolves the impetus to take out a 108-102 win – their first win after 14 straight losses. Paul did have 22 points and eight assists to lead the way for the Clips, hot shooting Jamal Crawford had 21 off the bench, going a perfect 10-10 from the line, and DeAndre Jordan had another big double double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. For us, the Magic probably are not going to win this, but, with no Griffin, and going on their performance against the Thunder, they should have enough in the tank to keep this one close.
Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards
Our tip: Washington -9 ($1.91)
Superstar point guard John Wall’s supreme performances don’t necessarily translate into lots of wins for the Wizards, but, when they do win, he has usually played out of his skin. NBA fans would be pining for him to be on a good team. It would be nice to see Bradley Beal’s corpse be reanimated and Otto Porter Jr take the next step but, for the time being, this is a one man band. Fortunately, Wall has some broad shoulders to carry the weight. You only have to look at his last performance to get an idea of what this speed demon is capable of. He had perhaps the toughest assignment in basketball – the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry. And, defensively, there wasn’t much he could do, with Curry serving up the splash to the tune of 51 points and 11 three pointers – one trey off the NBA record. The Sixers are woeful defensively, with the likes of NBA immortals Ish Smith, TJ McConnell, Kendall Marshall and Isaiah Canaan set to take turns trying to stop him. Be honest, if you know any of those blokes, it is probably only Marshall, and that’s only because he had a couple of double digit assist games for the Lakers once. Strap yourself in for the John Wall show and watch the Wizards blow the Sixers away early and win comfortably to cover the line.
San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks
Our tip: San Antonio Spurs -6.5 ($1.91)
Can anyone (apart from the Warriors) top the Spurs? Not likely. They have the number one defence in the game and the number five offence. That’s a recipe for disaster for the up and down Mavericks. If it weren’t for Golden State’s incredible season, the Spurs would be the unquestionable favourite for the NBA crown. The problem in facing the Spurs always lies in who to focus your defence on. Is it the surging LeMarcus Aldridge? Is it the ultra-consistent Kawhi Leonard? Do you tie down Tony Parker and hope for the best? It doesn’t matter who you go after, the Spurs are so even that someone will always pick up the slack. We can’t see the Mavericks getting close in this one and the -6.5 points on offer to the hottest team in the competition is very good money.
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