To no surprise, the season is over for Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving as he has been hampered by shoulder and knee problems all year. Even though Irving averaged 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds in his 20 games played, the Nets actually have been better without him. They still are very likely to make the playoffs. Here’s a look at two early-week intriguing matchups for your NBA Betting. Check back for Mybookie odds.
Top NBA Betting Picks of Week 19
Thunder vs Bulls
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET (NBA League Pass)
Oklahoma City impossibly has covered 13 straight road games. OKC won its third in a row Sunday, 131-103 at home vs. San Antonio. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit 8-of-14 shots and a 3-pointer for 22 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. The 13 rebounds are his second-highest total in a game this season, trailing only his 20-20-10 triple-double back on Jan. 13. Steven Adams had 21 points and 14 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double.
Since Thanksgiving Day (11/28), Oklahoma City has earned the third-best record among all NBA teams and the most wins among Western Conference teams during that time span behind Milwaukee (33-5, .868) and L.A. Lakers (26-10, .722).
Chicago snapped an eight-game skid Sunday with a 126-117 win over Washington. Coby White had 33 points, becoming the first rookie in NBA history to score 30 points in consecutive contests while coming off the bench. He also joined Michael Jordan as the only Bulls rookies with back-to-back 30-point games.
The Thunder go for the season sweep as they were 109-106 winners over the Bulls on Dec. 16. Chris Paul hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Thunder overcame a 26-point second-quarter deficit. Paul took over in the fourth, going 5 for 5 from deep and scoring 19 of his 30 points. His fourth 3-pointer of the quarter put Oklahoma City ahead 101-100, its first lead since the opening seconds. Paul also had nine rebounds and 10 assists. The Bulls tied it at 106 before Adams put the Thunder ahead with a free throw and Paul added two more in the final five seconds. Chicago led 55-29 midway through the second quarter by turning 12 Thunder turnovers into 26 points. Zach LaVine finished with 39 points.
76ers vs Cavaliers
- When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET (NBA League Pass)
John Beilein was a fabulous college coach, but his half-season NBA coaching career with Cleveland, was a disaster and he was forced out already last week. He technically resigned but he was pushed out and allowed to save face by the team not calling it a firing. Beilein left Michigan last May and signed a five-year contract with Cleveland that included a team option for the final season, a deal that paid him more than $4 million per season. However, he will only get a portion of the remainder of this season’s money.
Beilein, 67, struggled to connect with NBA players and was never able to implement his collegiate offense into the pro game. He became the third first-year head coach in the past 30 years to coach a team’s season opener and not make it through the season.
Associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has taken over. Despite being one of the NBA’s younger head coaches at 40, Bickerstaff takes over in Cleveland with no shortage of experience. The Cavs mark Bickerstaff’s third head coaching job in the NBA after previous stints with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies. As is the case in Cleveland, Bickerstaff took over both of those positions in-season following the firing of a previous head coach.
As inconsistent as the 76ers have been this season, great at home and terrible on the road, don’t be surprised if they fire Coach Brett Brown if the team doesn’t at least reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Just a couple of weeks ago, GM Elton Brand wouldn’t even commit to Brown lasting the rest of the regular season.
“Brett Brown’s our coach & I believe in him to lead this team,” Brand said then. When asked if Brown would the coach for the rest of the season, Brand hedged a bit. Wouldn’t commit or get into hypotheticals. “He’s our coach & I’m supporting Brett Brown. He’s our leader.”
Philly goes for the four-game sweep of the Cavs, although the teams haven’t played since a 141-94 76ers home destruction of Cleveland on Dec. 7. Joel Embiid didn’t even play in that one. Ben Simmons had 34 points. Simmons made 12 of 14 field goals, including his only 3-point attempt, and hit 9 of 12 free throws in 26 minutes. The 76ers needed little more than Simmons in a dominant first half that ended with them ahead 77-36.
The 47-point margin of victory was tied for third-most in Philadelphia history. The club’s greatest victory is a 62-point rout of the Knicks on Dec. 25, 1960 prior to the move to Philadelphia when they were the Syracuse Nationals.
2020 NBA Betting Week 19 Expert Picks
Back Thunder and Cavaliers to cover on your NBA Betting.