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Bulls: Kris Dunn (back) is probable.
Clippers: Wilson Chandler (quad) and Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) are out.
Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (shoulder) and Jonas Valanciunas (personal) are out. Joakim Noah (heel), Jevon Carter (knee), Tyler Dorsey (knee) and Chandler Parsons are probable. Jaren Jackson Jr. (quad) is questionable.
Hawks: Kevin Huerter (ankle) is doubtful.
Hornets: Bismack Biyombo (knee) is day to day.
Jazz: Dante Exum (ankle) and Tony Bradley (knee) are out.
Magic: Timofey Mozgov (knee) is out.
Pelicans: Elfrid Payton (ankle) is probable. Darius Miller (ankle) is doubtful.
Timberwolves: Robert Covington (ankle) and Gorgui Dieng (personal) are out.
Wizards: Dwight Howard (back) remains out.
Today’s NBA Matchups
Chicago Bulls (14-44) at Orlando Magic (27-32)
Line: Magic -8, O/U: 217
Magic: 105 ppg, average defense, slow pace
Bulls: 103 ppg, bottom ten defense, slower than average pace
- Orlando has won seven of their last eight games, all against beatable teams considering the Bucks rested Giannis.
- Nikola Vucevic went to his first All Star Game after averaging 20.5 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists per game.
- The recently-acquired Markelle Fultz isn’t expected to play anytime soon, and neither is Mo Bamba who had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his tibia.
- The Bulls have won three of their last ten games, which is way too many for this tanking team.
- New Bull Otto Porter dropped a career-high 37 points on 16/20 shooting in a win over Memphis to close the first half.
- Lauri Markkanen is averaging 22 points and 13 rebounds per game in his last ten.
Denver Nuggets (39-18) at Dallas Mavericks (26-31)
Line: Nuggets -4.5, O/U: 224
Mavericks: 109 ppg, average defense, average pace
Nuggets: 111 ppg, above average defense, bottom five pace.
- Luka Doncic is averaging 25 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in his last ten games.
- The Mavericks starting lineup around doncic has completely changed. Now he is flanked by Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson.
- Dallas is clearly building for the future, but they’re still dangerous. They’re 20-9 at home.
- Nikola Jokic is coming off his first All Star Game averaging 23 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in his last ten.
- Paul Millsap missed a few losses before the break with an ankle injury, but he’s back in action along with Gary Harris.
- Trey Lyles could miss a few weeks with a hamstring issue. He’s averaging 9 points and 4 rebounds this year.
Detroit Pistons (26-30) at Atlanta Hawks (19-39)
Line: Pistons -5, O/U: 222
Hawks: 111 ppg, bottom ten defense, fastest pace in the NBA
Pistons: 107 ppg, above average defense, average pace
- The Hawks have lost four of their last five, but they’re a much better team than when they started the year.
- Rookie Trae Young is averaging 20 points and 9 assists per game in his last ten, finding his shot and adjusting to the pace and physicality of the NBA game.
- Second-year big John Collins is averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds per game this season, leading the team in both categories.
- The Pistons don’t deserve to be in the playoffs this year, but it’s within reach.
- In the first half of the season Blake Griffin averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, and Andre Drummond averaged 17 points and 15 boards.
Los Angeles Clippers (32-27) at Memphis Grizzlies (23-36)
Line: Clippers -2, O/U: 216
Grizzlies: 101 ppg, top ten defense, bottom five pace
Clippers: 114 ppg, below average defense, fast pace
- The Grizzlies have gone 7-25 since the middle of December, prompting them to trade a franchise cornerstone in Marc Gasol for Jonas Valanciunas and other pieces. Valanciunas is out this game for personal reasons.
- Mike Conley averaged 2o points and 6 assists in the first half of the year, but he shot just 31% from the floor in the last five before the break.
- Kyle Anderson is out again with a shoulder injury, so Chandler Parsons is coming back to the rotation.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. is questionable with a quad issue, averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds in his last ten before the All Star break.
- The Clippers sold at the deadline, and it would make sense if they started to lose some games with an eye on the draft and the summer’s free agent class.
- Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler and Ivica Zubac are some nice pieces for the team long term.
- Danilo Gallinari averaged 19 points and 6 boards per game in the first half of the season.
Minnesota Timberwolves (27-30) at New York Knicks (11-47)
Line: Timberwolves -5, O/U: 221
Knicks: 105 ppg, second worst defense in the NBA, average pace
Timberwolves: 112 ppg, below average defense, faster than average pace
- The Knicks snapped their franchise-record 18-game losing streak in Atlanta before the break.
- Dunk Contest runner up Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 17 points and 6 assists in his first seven games as a Knick.
- Minnesota is 8-20 on the road, but the Knicks haven’t won a home game since December 1.
- Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 26 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists in his last ten games.
- Jeff Teague, Tyus Jones, Derrick Rose and Jerryd Bayless are all healthy for what feels like the first time all season.
New Orleans Pelicans (26-33) at Indiana Pacers (38-20)
Line: Pacers -6.5, O/U: 222
Pacers: 108 ppg, top five defense, slower than average pace
Pelicans: 116 ppg, bottom five defense, top five pace
- The Pacers lost their first four games without Victor Oladipo by an average of 15 points, but they roared back with five wins in a row against beatable teams before an expected loss to the Bucks.
- Bojan Bogdanovic has led the team in scoring in five of the last seven, averaging 20 ppg in his last ten.
- Tyreke Evans and Myles Turner are both huge pieces for this team in Oladipo’s absence, and they’re both question marks for this one.
- Wesley Matthews is the starting shooting guard now, averaging 13 ppg on 40% shooting this season.
- Anthony Davis wants to be traded, the Pelicans don’t want him to play and possibly get hurt, and neither does whatever team will eventually trade for him. The league seems insistent, probably because they don’t want to set a bad precedent.
- Jrue Holiday is averaging 21 points and 8 assists per game this year.
Utah Jazz (32-25) at Oklahoma City Thunder (37-20)
Line: Thunder -4.5, O/U: 226
Thunder: 115 ppg, second-best defense in the NBA, top five pace
Jazz: 109 ppg, top five defense, average pace
- The Thunder had won 12 of 13, but lost to the Pelicans before the All Star break.
- Russell Westbrook extended his NBA-record triple double streak to 11 games with a 44-point triple double in the loss.
- Paul George is a top-three MVP candidate, averaging 36 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in his last ten.
- Jerami Grant is averaging 13 points and 5 rebounds, shooting 52% from the floor and 37% from deep. He missed a few games before the break, and he’s listed as day-to-day.
- The Jazz have are right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
- Rudy Gobert averaged 15 points, 13 boards and 2 blocks per game in the first half of the season.
- Donovan Mitchell’s last ten: 26 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds per game.
Washington Wizards (24-34) at Charlotte Hornets (27-30)
Line: Hornets -5, O/U: 232
Hornets: 111 ppg, below average defense, average pace.
Wizards: 113.5 ppg, bad defense, faster than average pace
- The Hornets lost four of their last five before the All Star break, and the last one was 127-89 in Orlando.
- All Star starter Kemba Walker averaged 25 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in the first half.
- Bradley Beal is the man in Washington for the foreseeable future with John Wall out for the rest of this season and next season. The All Star is averaging 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game.
- Dwight Howard is working his way back, but still a long way to returning to game action.
- Tomas Satoransky is the Wizards’ point guard moving forward. He’s averaging 11 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists in his last ten.
San Antonio Spurs (33-26) at Toronto Raptors (43-16)
Line: Raptors -7.5, O/U: 227
Raptors: 114 ppg, above average defense, average pace
Spurs: 112.5 ppg, below average defense, very slow pace
- DeMar DeRozan is about to make his much-anticipated return to Toronto, where he wanted to stay for the rest of his career. He dropped the first triple double of his career when he played against his former team for the first time.
- Derrick White rested up his sore heel over the break and should be ready to go for this one. San Antonio started the Rodeo Road Trip 1-3 without him
- LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds in the first half of the season, earning a trip to the All Star Game. He’s listed as probable, dealing with an illness.
- Rudy Gay is also a former Raptor. He averaged 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds to start the year.
- Toronto won six straight before the All Star break, and they’re 24-5 at home.
- Kawhi Leonard will need to channel the emotionlessness he’s famous for against his former team. The All Star starter averaged 27 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the first half, but had just 21 when these teams played in January.
- Kyle Lowry also played in the ASG after averaging 14 points and 9 assists before the break.
- Marc Gasol looks like an excellent fit with the Raptors. Right now he’s backing up Serge Ibaka, but that may change as the season progresses.