This week in the NBA: Zach LaVine and Raptors headline
Charlie Dear | 11 March 2019
Odds and review of the NBA action
It’s been a week where the Toronto Raptors have risen, the Houston Rockets have refuelled and Golden State Warriors have whimpered.
Joe Embiid announced his return to his Philadelphia 76ers side by dropping 33 points on Indiana Pacers.
We also have odds on a select few of Tuesday’s game to get you going for the new week.
So stick around as we delve deeper into the week that was in the NBA.
LaVine got his big move to Chicago Bulls in 2017 after three seasons honing his craft at Minnesota Timberwolves.
His debut year was solid but unspectacular from the shooting guard’s perspective. The 2016 NBA Slam Dunk winner only made 24 appearances in 2017-18 after his season ending knee injury.
But this season he is slowly coming into his own, having started 59 of the 60 games he’s played.
His point-scoring figures are at 23.8, well beyond any stats he’s previously run up in his young career.
LaVine is balling right now – aside from Russell Westbrook he’s scored the most points in the league since the NBA All-Star weekend last month.
Raptors have become the second team from the East to qualify for the NBA play-offs.
And best of all for the Toronto-based side, they could watch it become official from their own couch.
A 131-114 loss for Charlotte Hornets against Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night clinched qualification for Raptors.
It marks the sixth-straight season that the team have made it to the play-offs, after only playing in the season-ending finale five times in the franchise’s first 18 year history.
Going into the home stretch, they’ll have to win 12 of 16 contests to match their best record of 59-23 last season.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors may be at the pinnacle of the sport right now, but it hasn’t been plain sailing this season.
Coach Steve Kerr has already had to deal with the very public fall out between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
This also came at a similar time as injury to star-player Steph Curry. Warriors battled back to something like their old selves, but have hit a brick wall recently.
March has seen Golden State lose three of their five matches this month and are on course to lose the most matches since 2013-14.
Get them to the play-offs already!
Luka Doncic has been the glue that has kept Dallas Mavericks together this season.
The 20-year-old rookie is looking like a near cert for rookie of the year. In his 62 games, he’s netted an average of 21.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists a night.
But after having a relatively clean injury record, it’s alleged Doncic ‘felt a pop’ in his knee during Sunday’s loss to Houston Rockets.
Dallas are well out of the play-off picture, but coach Rick Carlisle will hope he can team Doncic up with new recruit Kristaps Porzingis sooner rather than later.
Selection of Tuesday’s ties
Charlotte Hornets @ Houston Rockets – Rockets to win -8.5 – 10/11
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz – OKC to win is 7/5
Boston Celtics @ LA Clippers – Celtics win -2.0 – 10/11
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing