We cashed in on our NBA Friday picks yet again! We went 3-1 this past Friday, including a parlay. In the last two NBA Fridays, we’re 6-3 and have been perfect on both of our parlays.
The Wednesday night schedule will consist of nine games, with the earliest beginning at 7pm (ET) and the latest tipping off at 10pm. There will be two games featured on ESPN, with the first being the Golden State Warriors taking on the Houston Rockets at 7pm (ET) and the later game being the Milwaukee Bucks matching up against the Los Angeles Clippers at 10pm (ET). Those two games will be airing on ESPN and will feature three of the best teams in the NBA, with the only outlier being the Warriors, who have been riddled by injuries dating back to last season.
Some other notable games on the Wednesday night schedule will include the Philadelphia 76ers traveling to Utah to take on the Jazz, the New York Knicks taking on the Pistons in Detroit, the surprisingly-competitive Minnesota Timberwolves matching up against the Memphis Grizzlies and so much more. See the full schedule for Wednesday’s NBA games below:
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Utah Jazz
After serving a two-game suspension for his physical altercation with Karl Anthony-Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves last Wednesday, Joel Embiid will rejoin the 76ers lineup for this Wednesday’s matchup against the Utah Jazz. Embiid won’t be eased back into the swing of things however, having to matchup against one of the league’s premier defensive players in the league, Rudy Gobert, who Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers had high praise for prior to the matchup between the Bucks and Clippers last week.
“He’s like a goaltender in hockey. He just sits back there, and when everybody else plays well, then they’re a great defensive team,” Rivers said. “When everyone else plays bad, they’re still a great defensive team, ’cause the goaltender’s still there.”The Salt Lake Tribune
Year-after-year, the Jazz rank among the best in the NBA in terms of defense and to nobody’s surprise, through the team’s first seven games, they currently sit inside the top-five in a majority of the defensive-related categories:
- First in points allowed per game (95.6)
- First in three-point makes allowed per game (8.7)
- First in three-point attempts allowed per game (28.1)
- First in opponent field goals made per game (35)
- Fifth in opponent field goals attempts per game (84)
- Fifth in opponent field goal percentage (41.7)
The stats tell their own story, but I’ll provide you with a bit more insight on why the Jazz are one of the league’s stingiest teams. In their seven games so far in 2019, they have held all-but-two of their opponents to under 100 points (101 to the Kings and 105 to the Clippers) and have yet to lose at home (3-0).
The 76ers were the NBA’s last unbeaten team (5-0) up until their game on Monday night, in which they were defeated by the Phoenix Suns by a score of 114-109. While Philadelphia’s defense ranks 11th in terms of points allowed per game, they’ve let four of their last five opponents score 100+ on them, including a game in which they allowed 128 points to the Portland Trailblazers and a 40-point game from Phoenix Suns’ rising star, Devin Booker as recent as Monday night.
“I think there are some things that we really should have done better, for sure, but he is a very, very gifted scorer for sure,” quoted 76ers head coach, Brett Brown on Devin Booker, who scored 40 points on 15-of-19 shooting.MSN.com
Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell has seemed to take major leaps toward superstardom in each of his three campaigns in the NBA, improving in nearly every statistical category in each of those years. He’s currently averaging 25.7 points per game, shooting 52 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range, all career-highs through seven games.
A huge game could be in-store for Mitchell against the 76ers, who just allowed a 40-point game to a fellow shooting guard, Booker. I think it’ll be a well-matched, low-scoring affair but I like the Jazz to ultimately walk away with a win and improve to 4-0 at home.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
They’ve played just seven games in 2019 but the Milwaukee Bucks have been incredibly efficient. After finishing the 2018-2019 season with the best overall record (60-22), the Bucks have once-again stormed out of the gates. The team currently ranks first in several offensive categories, including points per game (121.3), field goals made (44.4), field goal percentage (48.3) three pointers made (15.4) and overall rebounding, with 51.6 per game.
Milwaukee has played one of the toughest schedules so far including games against the Raptors, Celtics, Rockets, Timberwolves and Heat and unfortunately for them, it won’t get any easier on Wednesday night, when they are forced to matchup with the Kawhi Leonard-led Clippers in Los Angeles.
The Clippers haven’t had anywhere near the same success the Bucks have had on the offensive side of the ball this year, ranking right around the middle of the NBA in some of the same categories that the Bucks lead in (13th in points, 13th in field goals made, 23rd in three-point makes, 14th in three-point percentage). This was expected entering the season, a competitive offense and one of the league’s most elite defenses to pair with it. The only problem with this is that the Clippers defense, which still lacks the help of all-star forward Paul George, hasn’t been as strong as most would have expected.
Much like their offense, their defense ranks right around the middle of the NBA in several categories, including points allowed per game (12th), field goal makes allowed (11th), opponent field goal percentage (14th), opponent three-pointers made (20th) and three-point percentage allowed (21st). Yes, I know they’re 5-2 and just one game out of the lead in the Western Conference, but they really haven’t been all that impressive on either side of the ball, making the Bucks seem like the more logical bet for me.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Orlando Magic
The Mavericks, led by second-year player Luka Doncic, are posting an average of 116.7 points per game, a mark that ranks them third in the Western Conference in scoring and seventh in the NBA overall. It’s been an impressive first couple of weeks for one of the NBA’s youngest teams, who have gotten off to a 4-2 start, tying them with the Spurs for first in the Southwest division and just one game out of first-overall in the West.
The Orlando Magic, on the other hand, have gotten off to one of the worst starts in the NBA this season with a 2-4 record and dreadful offensive team statistics. Through their six games, the offense ranks dead last in a variety of offensive categories:
- Last in points per game (93.5)
- Last in field goals made per game (35.7)
- Last in field goal percentage (39.7)
- Last in free-throws made per game (12.8)
- Last in free-throws attempted per game (17.2)
- Second-to-last in three-point percentage (28.3)
- 26th in three-pointers made per game (9.3)
Unlike Orlando’s pitiful offense, the Mavericks rank inside the top-10 in points per game, field goals made, three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted, free-throws made and free-throws attempted. The tale of the tape in this one is that it’ll be one of the most efficient offenses versus the league’s most inferior offense. I’d be extremely surprised if the Magic can cover a spread of six points.
- Detroit Pistons (-1) over the New York Knicks
- Pacers (ML) over the Wizards
- Mavericks (ML) over the Magic
- Timberwolves (ML) over the Grizzlies