Tue, Mar 20, 9:29am by Staff Writer
The playoffs are just around the corner and with up to ten teams still in contention in the West, the countdown is on.
Wednesday’s action sees the Thunder, who’ve been in good form, out to collect another major scalp when they take on the Celtics.
In the later game, the Rockets can take another step towards securing the number one seed when they clash with the Trailblazers.
Here’s our picks for the two above-mentioned games.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics
Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11am at TD Garden
The Thunder are one of the in-form teams in the league at the moment. taking care of the Raptors, Clippers and Spurs in a six-game winning streak.
The Thunder’s record sits at 43-29 and they have the opportunity to snatch the third seeding from Portland in the last 12 games of the season.
The Celtics are nursing a number of injuries to key players including Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Daniel Theis. Boston coach Danny Ainge will be looking to keep his stars in cotton wool, in the run home.
The Celtics have a lock on second seeding in the Eastern Conference with last season’s finalists, the Cavs, seven games back in a battle with the Wizards for third place.
Russell Westbrook hit his 102nd triple-double to tie with Wilt Chamberlain during the week in the win over the Raptors and he is a one man wrecking ball at this time of year. The Thunder won’t win a ring this season, but they’ll be able to close out the Celtics who have their injury concerns and an eye on the playoffs.
Best bet: Thunder for the win by 1-10 points at Sportsbet
Houston Rockets at Portland Trailblazers
Wednesday 14th March 2018, 1.30pm at Moda Centre
Houston have all but secured the top seed which means they’ll be looking at resting some of their stars, including Chris Paul, in the run home to the playoffs.
This contest against Portland is the toughest the Rockets have left on their schedule but with Golden State also having their own injury concerns, Mike D’Antoni can afford to give his stars a breather, which could spell danger in this one.
The Blazers have been playing some outstanding basketball, that includes a run of 13 wins, their third longest streak in franchise history. Portland are in a shootout with the Thunder for a top three berth in the Western Conference and will be hoping the Celtics can do them a favour by getting over the Thunder.
Houston will need a much better effort defensively after a poor showing in the win over the Timberwolves. While the duo of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard are one of the best back court duos in the league, so we’re giving the edge to the visitors, in what should be a close game.
Best Bet: Houston to win by less than 10 points at Sportsbet
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