Tue, Feb 6, 8:04am by Head Editor
The looming trade deadline is expected to bring more drama in Cleveland. The Cavs can’t seem to take a trick and LeBron James could be on the way out for a second time if more reinforcements are not brought in. Kyrie Irving’s decision to defect to the Celtics makes even more sense. LeBron’s All-Star brother in arms is having a breakout year.
In two high-calibre games the Celtics ‘take their talents’ to Toronto. This could be the year the Raptors progress to the big dance and the matchup between DeMar DeRozan and Irving will be worth the price of popcorn below.
There’s even more drama as the league’s other couple Durant and Westbrook renew their battle. Durant and the Warriors will be looking to take one from the Thunder before the All-Star weekend.
Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
Wednesday, 7 January 2018, 10.30am at Air Canada Centre
This is an intriguing matchup. The Celtics are back on a roll winning their last four of five games. The first game in this road trip is the Raptors. The Raptors have emerged as a serious threat to actually make the finals. DeRozan is worth being in the MVP conversation, just to make sure James Harden doesn’t have everything his own way.
The Celtics (39-15) are an enigma at the moment; their streak includes sides lower than them on the table. Their only loss in the last two weeks has come against the Warriors. They got out of jail against the Trail Blazers (97-96) thanks to an Al Horford special.
The Celtics are nursing a number of injury concerns, with Irving and Marcus Smart day-to-day propositions.
The Raptors have been smoking the lower level teams the past week by double digits, winning their last two games by a combined 40-points. The only bump in the road for the Raptors has been a close loss to the Wizards (122-119).
The Raptors will be feeling confident, winning the last eight home games against the Celtics. Irving is likely to be taking on Kyle Lowry and DeRozan with the after-effects of a quad injury.
If the Raptors can pull off a victory here then this will go a long way to help them stealing the number one ranking in the Eastern Conference. Like Tom Brady the Celtics have it and the Raptors want it. Upsets have been the name of the game this week for teams in the New England area.
Take the Raptors for a tough win by 1-10 points.
Best Bet: Toronto Raptors to win by 1-10 at Sportsbet
Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors
Wednesday, 7 January 2018, 1.30pm at Oracle Arena
Whenever these two sides clash you get the feeling you are watching it’s all about Russell Westbrook. Let’s be honest the drama is getting a little boring and it’s time for Russ to let it go. The Thunder are gelling but they need to show some backbone against the champs.
The Thunder have lost their last four games and the new year renaissance is in danger of losing its lustre. OKC have dropped winnable games to the Lakers and Pelicans at home. Thunder coach Billy Donovan needs to find someone to fill Andre Roberson’s slot.
Rookie Terrance Ferguson has struggled to step into Roberson’s shoes. The Thunder are 1-4 since Roberson’s injury and defence has clearly become an issue.
Westbrook ‘loves adversity’ and the Thunder will want a win before the All-Star break.
The Warriors will be relishing the opportunity to go one up on what they see as a Western Conference pretender. For all the bluster of Westbrook, the Thunder really made an impact when it matters.
Kevin Durant will be focused heading into the clash with his former team. They may have dropped two of their last three games but expect Steph Curry and the Warriors to kick it up a notch for this clash.
Durant had 31 points in the loss to the Nuggets and expect KD to back it up with another 30+point game against the Thunder.
The only thing that can stop the Warriors getting a win over the Thunder is fatigue. The Warriors have had back to back games in recent weeks and it showed on court. The Warriors have struggled to keep up with their opposition in the stretch.
The Warriors will win this one. Adrenaline and a determined performance from Durant will be enough to get them past the Thunder.
Best Bet: Golden State Warriors to win at Sportsbet
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