|NBA Matchups, Odds, Analysis 1/22-1/24: Nuggets @ Jazz
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NBA Matchups, Odds, and Analysis January 22-24, 2019 By: Christopher B. Watford for NoLuckNeeded.com
With the NFL looking more rigged than ever after that horrendous no-call in the Rams/Saints game at least we have the NBA right? Well, Demarcus Cousins is finally healthy and playing for the Golden State Warriors, so there’s always next year, I guess. Maybe if someone invents a time machine we can go a couple years in the future where we don’t have to see the Warriors in the Finals for the umpteenth time in a row. With my hopes for the Finals being competitive being quickly crushed, let’s enjoy the rest of the regular season.
Portland Trail Blazers (28-19) @ OKC Thunder (27-18 ) - 1/22/19
A couple years back thousands of NBA fans were asking “why is Portland the fourth seed?” due to them having a worse record, but now we’re asking the same question under a different context. Why is Portland the fourth seed this season when they didn’t make any changes in the off-season? They’re sitting on a 27-18 record and are 7-3 over their last 10. They’re in an easier stretch of their schedule, but they’re still maintaining position in a loaded Western Conference.
The Thunder on the other hand are starting to slide a little bit. They’ve lost some key games against lesser teams such as the Hawks, Lakers, and of course there was that ridiculous 154-147 double overtime loss against the Spurs. While Westbrook is averaging yet another triple-double this season his shooting has been absolutely abysmal. He’s shooting 45/118 over his last five games, including 7/21 from the three point line.
These two teams met a couple of weeks back where the Thunder took the game, 111-109. PG13 and Westbrook were huge for OKC that game, combining for 68 points. The key matchup for this game is going to be the battle between the two guards: Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is averaging 21.8/10.5/10.6 on the season, with Lillard averaging 26.1/6.1/4.4. Fatigue could play a factor in this game with both teams coming off the end of a back-to-back.
Keep your eye on injury updates and odds and watch this guard-heavy matchup on NBATV this Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET.
Who will win the NBA Eastern Conference? Celtics? Raptors? Bet your team!
Denver Nuggets (31-14) @ Utah Jazz (26-21) - 1/23/19
After an absolute nailbiter of a game between the Nuggets and the Warriors, Golden State managed to snatch the first seed from Denver. The Nuggets played near-perfect basketball but there wasn’t much they could do to stop third quarter Steph. He made seven three pointers and returned to his unanimous MVP form. There’s nothing that anyone can do to stop Steph when he gets that hot. And now that Demarcus Cousins is back in the Warriors’ lineup, this NBA season is all but over.
Enough complaining (I could write 4000 words about how much I hate the Warriors, but we don’t want that), let’s take a look at this Nuggets and Jazz matchup. As of 1/20, the Denver Nuggets have the fifth best offensive rating in the NBA and the Jazz have the fourth best defensive rating. The Jazz have one of the best defensive anchors in the league with reigning DPOY, Rudy Gobert. The Nuggets have a weapon of their own though: MVP candidate Nikola Jokic.
Over the course of the last four years, Rudy Gobert and the Jazz have gotten better of Jokic and the Nuggets. In the eight games that they’ve met, the Jazz have won five of them with Rudy Gobert averaging better statistics than Jokic. One of Jokic’s biggest weaknesses is his lack of defense and going against a battling big-man like Gobert has proven to be a little bit of trouble to him.
The Nugs already took a game against the Jazz this year (103-88, November 3rd). The Nuggets can’t count on the Jazz shooting less than 20% from the three-point line again, but both teams are on a bit of a tear right now. The Jazz have gone 8-2 over their last ten and the Nuggets have gone 7-3.
With both teams playing high-octane basketball, this isn’t a game that you want to miss. Tune in to ESPN this Wednesday at 10:30 PM ET.
Minnesota Timberwolves (22-24) @ LA Lakers (25-22) - 1/24/19
Derrick Rose needs to be an All-Star. End of discussion. With Rose being the greatest player of all time and hopefully winning Sixth Man Of The Year, let’s look at how the Lakers have been performing with the loss of LeBron James. To put things nicely: it’s not going so well. They’re at a risk for missing the playoffs, have one of the toughest stretches of their schedule coming up, and Rondo, LeBron, and Ball are out for extended periods of time.
Lonzo’s injury is the newest addition to the cluster of injuries that the Lakers have been handed. He could potentially miss 4-8 weeks due to a grade 3 ankle sprain he suffered in a recent loss against Houston. If LeBron misses Monday’s game against the Warriors it will be his 14th straight game that he has missed - the longest stretch of absence in his career. This has obviously been a crushing blow for the Lakers, winning only five out of their last 13 games without LeBron.
As I mentioned, the Lakers are looking at a serious chance of missing the playoffs with all of these injuries. They’re sitting just outside of the playoff picture and the Western Conference is an unforgiving bloodbath. They play the Warriors and the 76ers twice, Timberwolves, Clippers, Pacers, Celtics, and the Rockets in their upcoming schedule. It’s entirely possible that LeBron could be sitting out of the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, but with the trade-deadline approaching and a barrage of attractive players becoming free agents this summer, the Lakers could prove to be a deadly team next year.
These teams met just a couple of weeks back and the Wolves ended up taking the game 108-86. It’s going to be a tough one for the Lakers to say the least, with the absence of three key players and not to mention that the Wolves won that game without Derrick Rose, who is now healthy and still hitting game-winners. See if the Lakers can attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive against the Wolves this Thursday on TNT at 10:30 PM ET.
(Check NBA game odds and updates at Intertops Sports Betting)
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