Fri, Feb 10, 4:01pm by Staff Writer
Chicago travel to Phoenix this weekend knowing that the sun is about to set on their season, if they don’t grab a win. The Warriors travel to OKC for another blockbuster with the Thunder. Former teammate Kevin Durant won’t be in a rush to make the peace with Russell Westbrook, as the Warriors look to extend their winning run. Bake beans will be off the menu this weekend as we give you the best bets for the weekend at www.australiangambling.lv
Bulls @ Suns
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix – Saturday 11 February, 2.30pm AEDT
TV: Live on ESPN
Outgunned and undermanned, the Bulls were put to the sword by the Warriors (123-92) earlier in the week, and head to Phoenix with the sun going down on their season. Not even MJ and Pippen in their prime would be of help to the Bulls at the moment. Decimated by injury, the Bulls were all heart against the Warriors, but lacked scoring options, with both Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade sidelined.
The Bulls have sorely missed Butler for the last three games, since he injured his heel against the Thunder, and are hopeful that he can join Wade, who missed with a respiratory infection, back on court for the Suns game.
It hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the Bulls with their bench rotation putting in an admirable performance against the Warriors. Big-man Robin Lopez had a game high 17 points and 10 rebounds. Veteran Taj Gibson also got in the game with 15 points.
The Suns will have to turnaround a three0game losing streak without Dragan Bender. The number four Summer draft pick will miss up to six weeks after undergoing ankle surgery.
The Suns struggled on offence in the loss to the Grizzlies earlier in the week, shooting only 33 percent from the field. Devin Booker had 20 points, and there were solid contributions from Eric Beldsoe and Brandon Knight who both had 16 points each.
If Butler and Wade can find some court time, then the Bulls have a good chance of pulling off a win against the Suns. I’m expecting this to be a tight clash, if the Suns find their shooting range then expect them to put the lights out on the Bulls. I’m tipping the Suns in a close win.
BEST BET: Suns to win
Warriors @ Thunder
Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma– Sunday February 12, 12.30pm AEDT
TV: Live on ESPN
Having upset the champions Cleveland 118-109 on Friday, the Thunder’s attention to knocking off the raging championship favourites on Sunday.
While the NBA universe is hyping up the return of Kevin Durant to Oklahoma, Westbrook and the Thunder were busy orchestrating an excellent win, with the Thunder superstar finishing with yet another triple double.
There has been no love lost between Durant and Westbrook since they split last summer. While the two former team-mates aren’t on each other’s Christmas card list, there is a grudging respect, despite Westbrook throwing some shade at Durant in the lead-up to their first clash.
Durant has done his best in the lead-up to downplay the tension dismissing the side-battle with Westbrook as “fake drama” driven by the media. “They’re trying to get in between this thing and make it bigger than what it is.”
For OKC fans the game plan will be built on unleashing Westbrook and hoping for another triple-double against the Western Conference leaders. For the Thunder to overcome the Warriors, it will a need a near perfect game from Westbrook and the Thunder bench.
The Warriors warm up for the clash with OKC with a clash with the Grizzlies on Saturday (AEDT). The Warriors are purring nicely with Steph Curry finally in sync with Durant. Look for Curry, Klay Thompson and Durant to provide the main bulk of the scoring.
The markets haven’t been released yet but the Warriors will start favourites in this match-up. They have won the last five regular season matches including the two this year.
The Thunder famously led their Western Conference fianls series 3-1 against the Warriors last year before losing 4-3. The Thunder, of course, had Durant back then.
There is no denying Westbrook’s competitive spirit but if the Thunder are serious about challenging the elite sides in the competition, then they need to find other scoring options. Durant may be in an opposition jersey, but expect KD to put on an encore performance for the home fans. I’m tipping the Warriors to win.
BEST BET: Warriors to win: $1.35
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