NBA Preview: Martin Luther King Day - The Sporting Base
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NBA Preview: Martin Luther King Day

January 17, 2023

NBA Preview: Martin Luther King Day

Christmas Day is a hugely celebrated day on the National Basketball Association schedule. However, so is Martin Luther King Day. Here are three games worth considering as the United States honours one of their most important people in its nation’s history.

Boston Celtics @ Charlotte Hornets–1 pm ET

The Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 32-12, while the Hornets are worst in the East at 11 wins and 33 losses. Jayson Tatum of the Celtics is fourth in the NBA in scoring right now at 30.6 points per game.

My Pick:

I had the opportunity to see the Charlotte Hornets play twice last week against the Toronto Raptors, and struggled mightily against a relatively weak Toronto squad. The Celtics are significantly better and should give a beatdown on Charlotte even though Jaylen Brown is out with a right adductor injury. The Hornets meanwhile won’t have the services of Gordon Hayward, who has a broken left shoulder. Take Boston at 8.5 and the under at 231.5, as the Hornets only score 112 points per game, and the Celtics only give up 112.2 points per game.

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Phoenix Suns @ Memphis Grizzlies–6 PM ET

The Suns are 21-23 and face a Grizzlies squad that is second in the West at 29-13. Only the Nuggets at 30-13 are better.

My Pick:

The Suns continue to struggle without Devin Booker who has a groin strain. and now Chris Paul is out with a hip injury. Yikes! Take the Grizzlies at -10.5, and the under at 228.5. The Suns have scored less than 100 points in five of their last seven games.

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Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers–10:30 PM ET

These are two of the worst teams in the West. The Lakers are at 19-24, while the Rockets are worst in the NBA at 10-33.

My Pick:

Normally, I do not go with a team on the second game of a back-to-back. However, in this case both teams played Sunday. The Lakers were much more competitive in a 113-112 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers than the Rockets were in a 121-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Take the Lakers at -5.5, and the under at 236. Houston is averaging only 109.1 points per game. Only Miami at 108.8 points per game are worse.

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