This week in the NBA: Luke Walton and Trae Young under the spotlight
Odds and review of the NBA action
Milwaukee Bucks became the first team to secure their places in NBA Play-Offs over the weekend.
We looked at their star man Giannis Antetekounmpo last week.
But stick around here as we examine the rise of Trae Young, why LA Lakers’ season is at a crossroads and Philadelphia 76ers game against Golden State Warriors.
All the talk surrounding the best rookie has been about Luka Doncic. But whilst the Dallas Mavericks man is favourite for the gong – he may now have a viable challenger for rookie of the year in Trae Young.
The ironic thing about this face-off is the pair actually swapped teams in the 2018 Draft pick.
Atlanta Hawks’ Doncic was the third overall pick, whilst Young was fifth on the list.
For the vast majority of the season it’s all been about Doncic.
But Hawks’ Young has now become the first rookie in NBA history with at least 45 points and 15 assists in a single game.
His consistency last week has brought the 20-year-old back into focus. A run of four 30+ points in five games including a 49 point haul against Chicago Bulls has the league keeping close tabs.
Lakers may be a state of flux right now but Brandon Ingram has been balling out this past week.
In the previous three-games Ingram has netted 23 points plus in the three games against Pelicans, Bucks and the Suns.
LeBron James has said has team-mate is ‘in a really, really, really good zone’.
This ‘zone’ James eludes to has seen an average of 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds on 58 percent shooting from the field in the last five games.
Ingram looks increasingly more confident to take games by the scruff of the neck. For their sake, he’ll be hoping the supporting cast can step up too.
For all the positive play from James and Ingram, things have taken a downturn for the team in general.
There’s a lot of finger pointing going on in LA with some suggesting it’s the coach Luke Walton who must go.
Lakers have lost four of the last five games and have slumped to tenth-spot in the Western Conference.
Since the turn of the year the team have lost to 10-36 New York Knicks and 9-40 Cleveland Cavaliers.
Either way things need to turn around quick or Walton may face the axe.
The game of the week arguably came from Philly on Sunday as Golden State Warriors came from behind to win.
Going into half-time the 76ers were up by 14 points and looking good – but this match may well be remembered for two head-scratching decisions by Philly in the final minute.
The first was an intentional foul by 76ers forward Mike Scott on Kevin Durant. The second, a missed three-throw by guard Ben Simmons that could have forced overtime.
Whilst Scott was in no mood for excuses and admitted he had to ‘do better’, 76ers coach Brett Brown said with no more time outs available he would instruct Simmons to do the same again.
Let’s hope these two meet in the play-offs to finally settle some scores.
Selection of Tuesday’s games
Dallas Mavericks @ Brooklyn Nets – Mavs to win on the money line – 17/10
Milwaukee Bucks @ Phoenix Suns – Bucks to win -12.5 – 10/11
New York Knicks @ Sacramento Kings – Knicks to win on the money line – 11/2
LA Clippers @ LA Lakers – Lakers to win on the match betting – 8/13
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing