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Bucks: Sterling Brown (wrist), George Hill (groin), and Donte DiVincenzo (heel) are out.
Celtics: Kyrie Irving (thigh) is expected to play.
Hawks: Alex Poythress (ankle) and Miles Plumlee (knee) are out. Dewayne Dedmon (knee) is doubtful.
Hornets: Bismack Biyombo (knee) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are day-to-day.
Kings: Marvin Bagley III (knee sprain) is out.
Knicks: Mario Hezonja (knee) is questionable.
Nets: Treveon Graham (back) and Shabazz Napier (personal) are out.
Suns: TJ Warren (ankle) is out.
Timberwolves: Robert Covington (ankle) is out. Luol Deng (Achilles) is doubtful.
Trail Blazers: Evan Turner (knee) is questionable.
Today’s NBA Matchups
Boston Celtics (40-26) at Los Angeles Lakers (30-35)
Line: Celtics -6, O/U: 223
Celtics: 112 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace
Lakers: 112 ppg, top ten defense, top five pace
- The Lakers have lost their last four, and they’re all but guaranteed to miss the playoffs.
- LeBron keeps putting up big numbers in losses, coming off 30-7-7 in a 115-99 loss to Denver. His minutes will probably be reduced or eliminated entirely as the season keeps getting less meaningful.
- On a related note, Lonzo Ball may miss the rest of the season, and Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram are both questionable today.
- The Celtics look like a cohesive unit all of a sudden, winners of three of the last four including a back-to-back set in Golden State and Sacramento.
- Al Horford led the way with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists, and Jayson Tatum added 24.
- Kyrie Irving didn’t play in the Kings win, but Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart combined for 25 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 steals. Kyrie should be back for this one.
- Gordon Hayward scored 30 off the bench in Oracle, and he’s a key for this team moving forward. If he plays anywhere close to his potential, Boston is a completely different animal.
Brooklyn Nets (34-33) at Atlanta Hawks (22-44)
Line: Nets -4, O/U: 238
Hawks: 112 ppg, bottom ten defense, fastest pace in the NBA
Nets: 112 ppg, below average defense, below average pace
- The Hawks are a step up from the tankers in the east, actually looking average since mid-December.
- Trae Young came into the game against the Spurs averaging 31 points and 9 assists in his last five games, shooting 49% from the floor and 50% from three, but Derrick White limited him to just 11 points on 8-24 shooting.
- John Collins is leading the team with 19 points and 10 rebounds per game this year.
- The Nets have won two in a row over Dallas and Cleveland.
- Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 28 points, and he’ll be a key piece moving forward.
- D’Angelo Russell is averaging 24 points and 8.5 assists per game in his last ten.
Charlotte Hornets (30-35) at Milwaukee Bucks (49-16)
Line: Bucks -12, O/U: 227
Hornets: 111 ppg, below average defense, average pace.
Bucks: 117 ppg, best defense in the NBA, very fast pace
- The league-leading Bucks had won seven in a row before dropping two-straight road games to the Jazz and Suns, but they bounced back with a 117-98 win over Indiana.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists, and that’s basically his average on the year.
- Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton shot just 1-13 against the Suns but came back for 27 in the Pacers win.
- Pau Gasol is now a Buck, but don’t expect him to play all that much. He couldn’t crack the rotation in San Antonio.
- The Hornets had lost nine of their last twelve, but they eked out a win that they absolutely needed 112-111 over the Wizards.
- Kemba Walker is and always has been a volume scorer, and he’s shooting 28% in the last three games.
- Marvin Williams scored a season-high 30 points in that win and added 7 boards. He’s averaging 11 and 6 this year.
New York Knicks (13-52) at Sacramento Kings (32-32)
Line: Kings -6, O/U: 225
Kings: 113 ppg, bottom-third defense, second-fastest pace
Knicks: 106 ppg, second-worst defense in the NBA, average pace
- Both of these teams are 1-4 in their last five, and Sacramento’s only win was 115-108 over these Knicks.
- The Knicks have lost four in a row, most recently an embarrassing 107-96 affair in Phoenix.
- Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 13 points and 6 assists in his last ten.
- DeAndre Jordan missed a few games with an ankle but had 17 points and 14 rebounds in the Suns loss.
- The Kings have struggled recently as they push for the playoffs, and they lost 111-109 to a Celtics team that was playing on the second night of a back to back.
- Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes combined for 47 points and 16 rebounds, and Barnes is starting to really carve out a solid role in Sacramento.
- De’Aaron Fox is averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 assists per game in his last ten.
- Rookie Marvin Bagley III remains out with a knee sprain, but he could still come back this season.
Phoenix Suns (15-51) at Portland Trail Blazers (39-26)
Line: -12.5, O/U: 228
Trail Blazers: 114 ppg, average defense, below average pace
Suns: 106 ppg, bottom five defense, average pace
- The Blazers have lost three of five, coming off a 129-120 OT loss to the Thunder.
- Damian Lillard put up 51 points and 9 assists, CJ McCollum added 27 and Jusuf Nurkic posted 13 points and 17 boards, but the rest of the team shot just 9-34 from the floor.
- The Suns have won four of their last five, which is truly baffling. They became the worst team ever to beat LeBron, completed a season sweep over the league-leading Bucks, and blew the Knicks out for a three-game winning streak.
- Devin Booker went nuts for 41 in that Knicks win. He’s averaging 25 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds this year.
- Deandre Ayton is quietly putting together a solid rookie season, averaging 16.5 points and 10 boards per game.
Washington Wizards (27-38) at Minnesota Timberwolves (30-35)
Line: Timberwolves -7, O/U: 243
Timberwolves: 112 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace
Wizards: 114 ppg, bad defense, faster than average pace
- Minnesota’s season is essentially over, and it shows in their defensive effort. They’ve given up an average of 128 per game in the last five.
- Karl-Anthony Towns was limited to 24 points, 4 rebounds and 6 turnovers in a 131-114 loss to Detroit that he fouled out of. He has averaged 34 points and 13 rebounds in his last five.
- The Wizards are one of those teams that keeps winning, though it’s not clear how or why. They’re coming off a 112-111 loss in Charlotte.
- Bradley Beal managed just 15 points on 4-21 shooting in that game. He’s averaging 30 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds per game in the last ten.
- Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker look pretty solid since coming over from Chicago. They’re respectively averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds and 14 points and 6.5 boards in their last ten.