Will the Philadelphia 76ers get back superstar center and All-Star Joel Embiid this week? He has yet to play coming out of the All-Star break due to a sore knee, and there’s no doubt that the team will be careful with him. Any game Embiid misses changes the Mybookie Sportsbook Odds. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups this week. Check back for the latest NBA Odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 25th Edition
Marc, Kyle & Coach chat with the media following today’s game.📺 | https://t.co/U1A3E2qYCk pic.twitter.com/5KzaqYfVKy — Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) 25 de febrero de 2019
Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET (TNT)
Potential Eastern Conference playoff preview. The Celtics are in a bit of a funk, though, losing two straight and four of five. They were upset 126-116 in Chicago on Saturday despite 37 points from Kyrie Irving. Key reserve big man Aron Baynes (left foot contusion) could still be a couple weeks away from returning after Celtics executive Danny Ainge said that they will play it cautious with him.
“Maybe a little more, but we just don’t want to take any chances with him,” Ainge said. “His foot’s still sore, but trying to figure when guys are going to come back is always a little bit of a guess,” Ainge noted that Baynes came back from a hand injury earlier this season much quicker than expected, but that they don’t want to take any chance with the foot of a guy who is 270 pounds. Boston is 15-2 when Baynes plays 15+ minutes and 22-21 when he plays 0-14 minutes.
Toronto should have Kawhi Leonard back in action after he got Sunday’s game against the Magic off for rest. The Raptors have shown that they’ll take no chances with Leonard, sitting him whenever necessary to ensure his freshness for the playoffs. He usually doesn’t sit back-to-back games, though. The Raptors are 10-4 this season in games decided by three points or fewer. Toronto’s 10 wins are tied.
With Brooklyn and Denver for most in the NBA. The Raptors were 5-7 in similar games last season.
This wraps up the regular-season series between the teams with Boston leading 2-1. They last met on Jan. 16 in Boston and the C’s prevailed 117-108. Toronto led 104-100 after Leonard’s three-point play with 4:22 left before Boston scored 17 of the next 19 points.
Irving hit a foul-line fadeaway to give Boston the lead for good and finished with 27 points. Irving had 10 points and six of his career-high 18 assists in the fourth quarter — including passes to set up Boston’s last three baskets in a game-ending 17-4 run. Al Horford scored 24 and Jayson Tatum had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Boston. Leonard had 33 to lead the Raptors.
New Orleans Pelicans at LA Lakers
- When: Wednesday, 10:30 PM ET (ESPN)
These teams just played Saturday in the Big Easy and New Orleans was a 128-115 upset winner despite Anthony Davis getting the night off – of course, he was the target of the Lakers ahead of the trade deadline. Jrue Holiday hit five 3-pointers and scored 27 points for the Pelicans. Former Laker Julius Randle had 24 points. Brandon Ingram scored 29 points for Los Angeles, but the Lakers struggled throughout to keep pace with the Pelicans, who led most of the game and by as many as 20 points.
Earlier in the week, Pelicans interim general manager Danny Ferry told reporters that both Davis and Jrue Holiday would see their minutes reduced for the remainder of the season. He said Davis, when he does play, would be limited to the 20-25-minute range. The NBA won’t let the team simply sit Davis the rest of the season as the Pelicans could be subject to fines of up to $100,000 per game for sitting Davis when he is completely healthy.
After the game, LeBron James questioned whether his teammates have the experience necessary to up their games and reach the playoffs.
“How many know what’s at stake if you’ve never been there?” James said. “I’m playing devil’s advocate, you know? It’s kind of a fine line when you talk about that, because when you’ve never been there or know what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable. So you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. So I’m not saying that’s what we are as a whole. It kind of looks that way at times, that sometimes we’re afraid to be uncomfortable.”
As it stands now, L.A. would miss the playoffs. James has made the NBA Finals the past eight years and the playoffs the past 13 years after failing to make the postseason in each of his first two seasons in the league. He has played 239 playoff games in his career. The 11 other Lakers to play Saturday have played 289 combined, with five of them — Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Moe Wagner, and Alex Caruso — having never been there.”