Big wins for the Nuggets and the Blazers over the weekend, as they took wins off of the league leaders in both conferences the Bucks and Lakers.
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Damien Lillard is the talk of the town at the moment, putting up 293 points in the last six games. He’ll feature again as the Blazers take on the Nuggets on Tuesday night. Then, we have the big one in the West between the Lakers and Rockets on Thursday.
Can Rockets beat the Lakers for the first time in over a year?
Philadelphia 76ers (2.28) @ Miami Heat (1.66)
The 76ers are struggling a lot offensively, and have relied on their defence all season long. It’s shown in their last two games, losing to a poor Atlanta Hawks team as well as the Boston Celtics 116-95 in their last.
It’s a different story for the Heat. Miami has been excellent defensively, but are also making things work in defence. They’re 14th in the league in average goals per game, putting up 111.8.
Miami is 33-15 for the season overall, while the 76ers are 31-19 so far. The Heat is still led in scoring by Jimmy Butler, he’s managing 20.3 points per game and 6.3 assists per game on average.
The 76ers boast the third-best defence in the NBA. They’re allowing just 105.4 points per game, which is very impressive, only beaten in defence by the Celtics and Thunder.
The NBA betting odds favour a win for the Miami Heat and given how the 76ers have been playing of late, we tend to agree.
Take the Heat to win.
Portland Trail Blazers (2.54) @ Denver Nuggets (1.55)
We have a Western Conference tussle for you on Tuesday night, as the Blazers travel to the Pepsi Center to face the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets form this season has led them to third in the West, going 34-16 outright.
The Blazers will come into this one looking to make it five wins in a row. They go 23-27 for the season overall and have won 7 in their last 10 games.
Damien Lillard is in the form of his life right now. He joined James Harden and Kobe Bryant as the only players to score at least 293 points over a six-game span in the last 20 years. A truly unbelievable hot streak.
Since losing out to the Mavs last Friday, the Blazers have gone on an impressive win streak. They’ve recorded wins against the Pacers, Rockets, Lakers and Utah Jazz. Lillard managed 51 points and 12 assists against a collapsing Jazz side in their last.
Before their last, the Nuggets had a streak including wins against the Jazz, Rockets and even the Bucks, before losing out to the Pistons 128-123 on Sunday night.
Expect the Blazers to win here.
Memphis Grizzlies (2.68) @ Dallas Mavericks (1.50)
The Dallas Mavericks go 30-19 for the season overall and sit twelfth in the NBA power rankings going into the second week of February. The Grizzlies are 7-3 in their last ten and go 24-25 for the season overall, sitting eighth in the Western Conference.
The Mavs will host Memphis at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday night looking to make it two wins in two. They overcame the Atlanta Hawks 123-100 in their last but lost out against the Rockets in the game before.
Dallas will be without their star player Luka Doncic, who suffered an ankle injury last week but has Jalen Brunson to step into his shoes. He’s averaging just 8 points per game but managed to put up 27p, 8a, 4r against the Hawks.
The Grizzlies were on the road to New Orleans in their last game. They lost out 139-111 in the end, with the young Zion Williamson leading the scoring for the Pelicans.
Ja Morant picked up 16 points, 3 assists to put him second in the Grizzlies scoring tables for the 2019/20 campaign. He’s averaging 17.5 goals per game, while Jaren Jackson leads the scoring with an average of 17.7 per game.
The smart money says Dallas win.
Houston Rockets (3.15) @ Los Angeles Lakers (1.38)
The Rockets will travel to the STAPLES Center on Thursday, looking to make it three wins from three having beaten the Pelicans and Mavericks in their previous two games.
The Rockets are second in the league for average points, putting up 118.7 per game. Though they aren’t so solid defensively, allowing an average of 116.4 per game, which is significantly more than Lakers 106.9 per game.
The Lakers are scoring an average of 114.0 per game. The discrepancy in defence between the two sides is what will likely separate the two teams on the night. The Rockets will have to step up their game if they are to take anything out of this one.
The Lakers lost out to the Blazers and another lethal Damien Lillard performance, before putting the Kings to the sword in a game that finished 113-129 in their last. Anthony Davis and LeBron were linking up well again as we saw at the start of the season.
Of all the games this week, we feel this Western Conference match will be the NBA free pick of the week in early February.
Expect the Rockets to win this one.