Fri, Jan 26, 8:54am by Staff Writer
The Aussies are in action this weekend as the 76ers take on the Spurs. Ben Simmons will face-off with Patty Mills for Australia Day bragging rights. Simmons will be hoping to get over the disappointment of missing out on All-Star selection with a win against the Spurs.
The Celtics travel to Oakland to test themselves against the champs. ESPN will be showing all the hardcourt action live over the Aussie Day weekend.
Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio Spurs
Saturday, 27 January 2018, 12.30pm at AT&T Centre
The 76ers are riding a wave since their trip across the pond to London. The boys from Philly have won five of their last seven games. Philly celebrated Joel Embiid’s All-Star selection with a double-digit victory against the Bulls (115-101).
Ben Simmons took out the frustrations out on the Bulls, after narrowly missing selection. Simmons recorded his fifth triple-double of the season with 19-points, 17 rebounds, and 14 assists.
The 76ers have injury questions over JJ Redick, TJ McConnell, and Jerryd Bayless. With the four-game road trip starting with the Spurs, coach Brett Brown will be looking to Simmons to pick up the slack.
The Spurs have remained quietly consistent in the West with the spotlight on the Rockets, Thunder, and the Warriors. San Antonio (32-18) sit third in the Western Conference with an impressive 20-3-win record at AT&T Centre.
The Spurs have their own injury concerns. All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge remains a day-to-day proposition. Aldridge missed the Spurs win over the Grizzlies (108-85). In his place, Aussie Patty Mills helped himself to 15-points.
The 76ers (112-106) prevailed the last time these two sides met, with the Spurs primed to reverse the result.
The 76ers are a team on the rise and have a firm grip on 7th position in the Eastern Conference. Strong performances from Embiid and Simmons will give the Spurs headaches. The Spurs have an impressive record at home and it will be a tough stretch on the road.
With their record at home, the Spurs are good value to start favourites. This will be a tight affair, but the 76ers (11-11) aren’t as a convincing on the road. Take the Spurs for the win.
Best bet: Spurs to win
Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors
Sunday, 28 January 2018, 12.30pm at Oracle Arena, Oakland
The Celtic’s All-Star guard Kyrie Irving resumes his battle with the Warriors Steph Curry. Curry has denied Irving two rings in his time at the Cavs in the LeBron years.
With both guards set to line-up against each other in the All-Star game, look for Irving to get the jump on Curry in this clash.
The Celtics have endured one of their worst slumps of the season, dropping four of their last five games. While the slump may have been character building for some, the Celtics need to get their mojo back. Part of the process is a win against the champs.
The Celtics were able to get across the line against the Clippers (113-102) and maintain their position on the Eastern Conference summit.
The Warriors were convincing in winning their last five from seven games. Steph Curry has been scintillating since his injury lay-off and has found his rhythm with Klay Thompson.
The Warriors set another record by being the first team with four All-Stars in four consecutive years.
The Warriors simply have too many weapons for the Celtics to handle. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Curry will be stepping up ahead of the All-Star Weekend.
The Celtics will rely heavily on Irving to do the damage and he will need the likes of Al Horford to step-up in this heavyweight clash.
You can’t look past the Warriors in this match-up. Take the Warriors to win by 1-10 points in what will be a tough night for the Celtics.
Best Bet: Warriors to win by 1-10 points
*Sportsbet odds will be posted when they become available
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