Steph Curry broke a three-point record last night against the Knicks, but even his greatness cannot be ignored that there is a cloud looming over the entire NBA. With so many players joining the health and safety protocol, it’s alarming. More and more news comes out every day, and we’ve seen games postponed by just over a third into the season.
With Wednesday’s 11 games, most of the teams play on steady rotation, with Hornet finally having a defender on their roster with Terry Rozierand Clippers are likely to receive Paul George come back. With quite a few players still holding the ‘question’ card, waiting a few hours before placing any bets shouldn’t hurt your chances in most of these competitions.
MonkeyKnifeFight.com always lead the way with them canceling competitions while being postponed, so don’t worry about wasting money on a single player or possibly unplayable game. As always, you can find me in the NBA Chat Room or @HalfCourtJester on Twitter for any questions, especially since streams and players can change during the day.
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HOU @ CLE
You can tell a point guard is doing his job when his stats have significant hits but the team is winning by a higher percentage. For now, that’s the case with Darius Garland, but that doesn’t mean you should just resort to your underlings. Garland is still averaging almost 15 shots per game over the past week and that’s him on a downtrend. He’s preparing himself for great nights, but not forcing the matter. Against the Rockets, the teams had a harder time scoring, but Houston was able to keep up with their own brand of attack. In a high-scoring game, you can’t deny that Garland will be Cleveland’s focal point.
If Christian Wood plays, he’ll be up against one of the league’s newest and toughest defenses. Fixed by Jarrett Allen, a combination of the Cavaliers Evan Mobley, Allen, and Isaac Okoro Recently one of the more epic fronts. There’s been no consistency with Wood’s stats this season, and playing just 25 minutes against the Hawks in Monday’s six-point game is worrying. There’s no point in taking over here unless you just feel it.
ATL @ ORL
Trae Young scored 41 points in the previous game, and the Hawks still lost to the Rockets. A few players have come out on the pitch and tackled the ball’s defense, but we’re talking about Trae Young here. Magic Defense is much better equipped to stop advance players like Clint Capela and John Collins, so most of the advantage here lies in both backtracks. This should be a high-score game maintained competitively by backcourt production, but beware that the paint will become a war zone of individual bugs.
Cole Anthony had a great game against the Hawks last time out, but Orlando still lost with ease and Anthony’s 29-point 11-assist match was ultimately pointless. With Magic playing better every game and most of the offense going to Anthony, there’s much to the contrary this time around. Atlanta is struggling right now and they’re playing without a few key extras. It may not be the difference, but it promotes a more even use for both teams defending points.
NOP @ OKC
Since this is a battle between two of the worst teams in the Western Conference, it is certain that both teams will feature the best players. Brandon Ingram has been playing a lot better lately and playing with a Thunder defence is just another chance to find one. He has scored at least 25 points in three of his last four games, but be aware that one game he failed to score was due to the team’s only quality defence.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been on a losing streak lately and that’s what’s holding him back statistically. This will be the first time in three games where he has faced a lousy defense and not only has a chance to score, but he can even get a full load of work done. After playing just over 30 minutes in two explosive matches, the Pelicans’ defense, though unintentional, should have been fairly easy for him to get into.
MIN @ DEN
Without a doubt, the best player right now is Nikola Jokic and he is facing the battlefield of the Timberwolves. There’s not much you can say about his past performances. The Nuggets bench was not good enough to hold the lead and that allowed Jokic to have some really big games. Denver was a really good team until Jokic left the field and Minnesota had players who could score. Jokic had no choice but to have another great night against a conference opponent.
Karl-Anthony Towns doesn’t have the same gravity and his high scoring nights depend more on the team he’s playing for and whether he actually hits his jump. Even with the Nuggets lacking players capable of creating a strong presence up front, Towns failed to display the ability to attack against the Jokic-led defence. Until he shows that he will actively try to score every night, there is no real guarantee he will score enough goals against a defense capable of disrupting his attacking style, especially when Minnesota has other options.
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