|NBA Matchups, Odds, Analysis 12/08-12/10: Bucks @ Raptors
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NBA Matchups and Analysis December 8th to December 10th, 2018 By: Christopher B. Watford for NoLuckNeeded.com
Seemingly out of the blue - and not to any fault of his own - the Chicago Bulls have fired head coach, Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg has done all that he can with the Bullís squad, but with how young the team is and the addition of four injured players, the Bulls werenít looking at making a playoff run any time soon. The Bullís front office has been shaky over the past couple of years and now they seem to be using Fred Hoiberg as a scapegoat. While the Bulls search for a new permanent head coach, letís take a look at this weekendís NBA matchups.
LA Lakers (15-9) @ Memphis Grizzlies (14-9) 12/8/18
After a shaky start, the Lakers have finally started to show the league that they mean business. LeBron continues to show no sign of slowing down after putting up 42 points against the Spurs. With LeBron leading the charge, the Lakers have managed to win four straight games and land themselves at the 5th seed in the tight Western Conference.
To give you an idea on how close the West is, the 14th seed Spurs are 6.5 games behind the first seed Nuggets. The Grizzlies are returning to their old form this year and with Mike Conley finally healthy and back in the starting lineup, they have shown that they do know how to win. The addition of Jaren Jackson Jr. has helped the Grizzlies tremendously. In their last outing, the Grizz beat the fiery-hot Clippers, 96-86. With Marc Gasol having an off-night, shooting 1-13, Mike Conley lead the charge for the Grizzlies, with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.
The Lakers are going to be coming off of a back-to-back matchup with the Spurs, so fatigue may play a role in this game. But then again, LeBron rarely lets fatigue get to him. One of the key matchups to look out for in this game isnít nearly as exciting to watch offensively as it is defensively. Mike Conley and Lonzo Ball will be going head-to-head and are both going to attempt to shut the other other down - and both are capable of doing so. Lonzo Ball is already one of the best guard defenders in the league, as heís started to prove this year.
Tune in to SPEC, FSSE, or NBA League Pass this Saturday at 8:00 PM ET to watch these two teams try and move their way up in the Western Conference.
Who will be crowned MVP?
Milwaukee Bucks (16-7) @ Toronto Raptors (21-5) 12/9/18
Two of the best teams in the NBA are going to battle it out this weekend and itís a matchup that you do not want to miss. The Bucks are in for a difficult weekend with a game against the Warriors, followed by the Raptors two nights later.
The main matchup to look out for is the battle between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard. Giannis is averaging 27 points this season on an insane 58 percent shooting. While Giannis is one of the best players in the league, heís going to have his work cut out for him when heís going head-to-head against former defensive player of the year, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has finally been cleared by the Raptors to play on back-to-backs and heís worked his way into the Raptors lineup perfectly.
This is a battle of likely MVPs in a game that you donít want to miss. The odds for Giannis winning MVP this season is +260 at Intertops.com, but Kawhi is definitely in the running for it too. Check back at Intertops.com regularly to see MVP odds and be sure to keep your eye on Kawhi Leonard later in the season.
Watch the Bucks and Raptors this Sunday on NBATV at 6:00 PM ET.
Utah Jazz (13-13) @ OKC Thunder (16-7) 12/10/18
In the first round of the playoffs last year, Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz defeated Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder in six games. This year, things are a little bit different. The Thunder have gotten better with Carmelo Anthony leaving and they have started the season 16-7.
There are two key matchups for this game: Mitchell/Westbrook and Ingles/George. Mitchell is coming off of a rough game against the Rockets where he shot 3-9 and had a total of 9 points. Ingles had another night of consistent shooting where he went 6-9, 4-6 from deep, and had 18 points to go along with two steals and two rebounds.
Westbrook and George have both been scorching hot, of course. In their 114-112 win against the Nets, George put up 47 points and 15 rebounds. Westbrook put up the most Russell Westbrook statline imaginable, with 21 points, 17 assists, and 15 rebounds.
Do the Jazz have what it takes to string things together and take down the Thunder? Watch on ATRM, FSOK, or NBA League Pass this Monday at 8:00 PM ET.
(Check NBA game odds and updates at Intertops Sports Betting)