The week in NBA: LeBron-inspired Lakers on the way up
Charlie Dear | 12 November 2018
Odds and previews of the NBA action
The 2018-19 NBA season may only be a handful of weeks old but some big talking points are already threatening to be defining.
It looks like we will have a different name in the NBA championship game for the first time in five years.
And with the Lakers now starting to show up in the Western Conference, we take a look at all the goings on in the week that was…
The Bucks might not be leading the Eastern Conference, but they’re definitely causing the biggest stir.
On Friday they inflicted only the second defeat of the season on title favourite Golden State Warriors.
Giannis ‘the Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo netted 24 points, while point guard Eric Bledsoe bagged 26 in a 13-point win.
They’re currently sitting comfortably in second spot. And with games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls this week, we could see a clean sweep for the Bucks.
Los Angeles Lakers
After two-successive weeks on the losers list last month, the Lakers seem to be swimming with the tide now.
They have a positive win record for the first time this season, having won five games in six and more importantly three on the spin!
LeBron James has 75 points to his name in those last three games. Having helped the Cavs make four straight play-off finals, James’ influence cannot be underestimated.
However, his consistency is now starting to rub off on his LA team-mates. They’re 14/1 to take the Western Conference.
It’s hard not to be back in the losers circle after three successive defeats.
The Cavs relinquished a nine point lead to Orlando Magic on Tuesday to lose by 99-98.
Then they only managed 86 points in a loss against a Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder.
After losing narrowly to the Chicago Bulls, a win over the Charlotte Hornets or the lowly-Washington Wizards is vital.
This one will be short. The Lakers may have beaten Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, but Rondo’s dramatic flop could have won him an Oscar.
After getting palmed off at a restart from Derrick Rose, Rondo collapsed backwards in theatrical fashion.
He got the foul and a roar of laughter from the crowd but hasn’t featured in the Lakers starting five since.
Big Talking Point
Jimmy Butler has finally made his move to the Philadelphia 76ers. Butler had been picking a choosing his game time for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He last starred with 24 points in the defeat to the Lakers before sealing a move to the Sixers this week.
Butler joins an elite cast of all-star centre Joel Embiid and point-guard Ben Simmons in Philly.
This move coupled with the absence of LeBron James from the league has seen the Sixers become real contenders.
They are now just 7/2 for the Eastern Conference championship.
Pick of the bunch from Tuesday 13th November
Orlando Magic @ Washington Wizards – Magic to win +7.5 20/21
Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat – 76ers to win 11/4
New Orleans Pelicans @ Toronto Raptors – Raptors to win -9.5 10/11
Dallas Mavericks @ Chicago Bulls – Under 109 first half points 20/23
Brooklyn Nets @ Minnesota Timberwolves – Nets to win 13/10
Golden State Warriors @ LA Clippers – GSW to win 5/6
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