Perhaps no team of late has had worse injury news than the Orlando Magic as they look to make the postseason for a second straight season. The team has recently lost two forwards likely for the season to knee surgeries in Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu. Isaac is the bigger loss as a former lottery pick who was a stellar defender and an amazing athlete. It’s not 100 percent he’s done but Isaac won’t even be evaluated until mid-March so he probably is. Aminu was a solid contributor off the bench. Here’s a look at two interesting NBA Betting matchups early this week. Check back for Mybookie NBA odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – January 13th Edition
Houston Rockets vs Memphis Grizzlies
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET
- TV: NBA TV
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Second of four meetings this season between the teams. On Nov. 4 in Memphis, Houston prevailed 107-100. Harden carried the load for the Rockets with 44 points. The Rockets shot just 38% from the field and were without Russell Westbrook, who took the night off for rest. Harden finished 12 of 28 from the field, including 7 of 16 from 3-point range. He added 10 rebounds and six assists.
Rookie Ja Morant led Memphis with 23 points and six assists. Dillon Brooks scored 17 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Morant was 10 of 16 from the field. There were 15 ties and seven lead changes, and the game was tied at 70 midway through the third period before Houston scored 11 straight points to take control. Memphis never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Some NumbersSince losing two straight from 10/23-10/28/17 vs. Memphis, Houston has won six of the past seven games. The Rockets have won 3 of the past 4 on the road after going 4-14 in Memphis from 1/21/11-10/28/17. The Grizzlies haven’t won a season series vs. Houston since going 3-1 in 2012-13 (five ties since then). In the last five meetings, the Rockets are averaging 112.4 ppg (43.5% FGs) while Grizzlies are averaging 103.6 ppg (47.4% FGs).
P.J. Tucker (right shoulder stinger) “seems to be OK” and could be available for Tuesday’s game vs. the Grizzlies, per Coach Mike D’Antoni. Tucker was injured Saturday on an illegal screen set by Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng early in the first quarter, and he was unable to return to action.
Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant continues to shine and is the Rookie of the Year favorite. Morant had 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds Sunday vs. the Warriors. He has the Grizzlies’ offense humming with 126.5 points per game in January, and that includes five straight victories.
Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers
- When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: NBA League Pass
The 76ers will be without their best player in All-Star center Joel Embiid. He had surgery on Friday to repair a torn radial collateral ligament in the ring finger of his left hand. Embiid won’t even be re-evaluated for two weeks. Embiid is a spectacular talent but just can’t stay healthy, missing more than 250 games in his five-plus years.
In previous seasons, the Sixers have cratered without Embiid in the lineup but they actually have been pretty good this season when Ben Simmons and Al Horford are on the floor and Embiid isn’t. While Horford has been struggling, he’s been at his worst when he shares the floor with Embiid. With Joel Embiid out, coach Brett Brown said the 76ers are going to change their style a bit with more space for Simmons. Look for Philly to play much faster.
Why the Nets should be your NBA Betting pick?The Nets got some good news over the weekend with the return of All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who had been out since mid-November due to a shoulder problem. Irving had 21 points in about 20 minutes vs. the Hawks on Sunday. He was 10-for-11 from the field, becoming the sixth player to try at least 11 shots and miss only one of them this season.
Over the last 27 games since Spencer Dinwiddie joined the starting five), Brooklyn is fifth in the league in defensive rating at 106.1 (14th on the season at 107.6). Brooklyn has also held its opponents to the second-lowest FG % in the league in that time (.426), trailing only Milwaukee (.413). Dinwiddie came off the bench early this season when Irving was healthy but he started opposite Irving on Sunday.
The Nets and 76ers have met once this season, a 109-89 Brooklyn home win on Dec. 15. Spencer Dinwiddie, who has been great in Irving’s absence, had 24 points. Joe Harris scored 16 points, and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Embiid missed that one due to illness. Simmons scored 20 points and Tobias Harris chipped in 17 for the Sixers. It was the first regular-season meeting between the teams since last April, when Philadelphia eliminated Brooklyn from the first round in Game 5 of the playoffs.