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NBA Wednesday Specials: Lakers and Timberwolves our picks

Tue, Dec 12, 9:35am by Staff Writer

The Lakers take on traditional rivals the Knicks, while Ben Simmons will look to get the 76ers fired-up as they clash with the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

LA Lakers at NY Knicks

Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11.00am at Madison Square Garden, New York

The Lakers head to New York on the back of some impressive form on the road. The young LA side will be hungry to make it three from three, when they go up against their traditional rivals.

On the back of a close win against the 76ers, the Lakers were impressive against the injury depleted Hornets (110-99). Jeremy Clarkson scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to get the Lakers over the line.

Lonzo Ball may not be leading the Lakers to a ring this season, but there is plenty of potential to excite Lakers fans for the future. Ball had nine assists in a solid court contribution against the Hornets.

They may not be pretty, but the Knicks have shown some that traditional New York grit this season to hang onto eight-spot in the Eastern Conference.

The off-season shake-up saw Phil Jackson depart from the front office. Carmelo Anthony took his talents to Oklahoma and Kristaps Porzingis has become the star of the show.

The Knicks are still in a state of play-off flux. They need at least two quality co-stars for Porzingis to hang onto eighth spot. Porzingis had 30 points as the Knicks snuck past the Hawks earlier in the week.

The Knicks have struggled to hold big leads in the fourth quarter, and given away easy opportunities from the charity stripe.

The Lakers are ranked as one of the best fourth quarter sides in the league at the moment. They had six players in double figures against the Hornets, and LA coach Luke Walton has them believing in their potential.

Back the Lakers to win.

Best Bet: Lakers to win by 1-10 points at Sportsbet

Philadelphia 76ers at Minnesota Timberwolves

Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 1.30pm at Target Centre, Minnesota

Ben Simmons, the heir to LeBron’s throne, will lead the 76ers as they clash with the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

The clash with the T-Wolves is the last in a three-game road trip, and 76ers coach Brett Brown will be hoping to turn-around his side’s fortunes.

Philly have been shorthanded of late with injuries to key players. Joe Embiid is suffering from back stiffness. There are niggling injuries to Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell.

It’s not time to hit the panic button, but a win against the Timberwolves would ease the pressure.

Simmons continues to make a strong case for Rookie of the Year honours.

Big Ben posted another double-double, with 27 points and ten rebounds in the loss to the Pelicans.

The T-Wolves have struggled for some consistency of late, with an ugly win against the Mavericks. They’ll be looking to take advantage against their injury depleted opposition.

The Timberwolves have put together an impressive line-up this season that includes Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

The Wolves have been impressive at home and are 13-5 this season.

Without Joel Embiid the 76ers are a different proposition, and expect the Timberwolves to take advantage on offence.

This will be an entertaining game, simply to see what Ben Simmons will do next. The home town crowd should be enough to get the Timberwolves over the line for the win.

Best bet: Timberwolves to win at Sportsbet

*Sportsbet odds will be posted when they become available

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