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NBA Tips: 24th November

WE look to continue our strong start to the NBA season as we tackle some midweek action on the hardwood.

It’s a small slate on offer for punters but there’s still some decent value to be found.

Miami Heat @ Detroit Pistons

The Heat head to Detroit off a two-day rest as they continue their four-game road stretch against a team coming off a pretty feisty outing against LA a couple nights ago.

Erik Spoelstra’s has come together a lot smoother than what many anticipated and have firmly established themselves as a team to watch come playoffs.

Kyle Lowry’s integration with the team has been seamless, while the form of Tyler Herro has arguably been the biggest factor as he looks to establish himself as one of the league’s premier scorers off the bench. Bam Adebayo, who is now listed as questionable for tonight, has also looked to return to the form that helped Miami reach the NBA Finals in Orlando a couple seasons back and his versatility – particularly on the defensive end of the floor – has helped shape this teams balance in an impressive manner.

While Miami remains a top-5 team in offensive and defensive ratings, Detroit is very much at the opposite end of the scale in both categories. The Pistons showed their full array of potential and frustration against the Lakers as they blew a huge fourth quarter lead in a game where they had complete momentum prior to the now famous LeBron James-Isiah Stewart incident.

It’s tough to measure the emotional and physical impact of a game on players but that was almost certain to drain this young team of both given the nature of that outing.

Backing up that level effort against a Miami defence that will make every possession feel like a chore it’s tough to envision how or where the Pistons find consistent scoring. The Heat have a versatile defensive rotation at their disposal and their length to bother shooters while still having legitimate rim protection makes them an uncomfortable proposition for any team on a good night, let alone a young one that’s still likely feeling the effects of their previous game.

The concern with a point spread this large is that Miami is one of the slowest paced teams in the league so possessions are at a premium when looking to lay near double-digits on the road. They do also have Minnesota on deck tomorrow so there is a chance of leaving the backdoor open if they open up a comfortable lead and can begin to rest players for that one.

My model has Miami winning by 15 points so we have some perceived value in the nine-point spread offered.  Miami will want to bounce back strongly here after fading late to the Wizards in this last game.  Big get right spot for me against an inferior opponent with some fatigue factors to be considered.

Our best bet: Miami Heat -9.0 $1.92 at PlayUp

LA Lakers @ New York Knicks

The Lakers face a quick turnaround after securing much needed comeback win in Detroit last time out.

The fallout of that game, however, is somewhat evident given the suspension to LeBron James. It seems that’s not the only thing to come out of that fiesta encounter though, with Anthony Davis now listed as questionable and the team no doubt feeling the physical effects of that game.

LA’s defence has been non-existent at times this season and they’re allowing teams to score with very little resistance in all areas. This has been magnified by the teams volume of turnovers that are allowing for easy transition buckets for teams.

Over the past week the team has been exposed drastically on the wings, which will provide a great opportunity for out-of-form Julius Randle to rediscover his scoring touch. Last season he averaged 32 points, 9 rebounds and 4.5 assists against his former team – don’t be surprised to see similar splits this time around.

New York haven’t exactly been at their best recently either. Integrating new pieces to their rotations has played its part in impacting the team’s identity from last season, with their gritty defence seemingly a thing of the past. Their offence hasn’t fared much better of late and the starting lineup have been largely responsibly for the shortcomings at that end.

That said they do have some key advantages against this Laker team at both ends that may just help them find their swagger at a packed MSG.

LA are amongst the league leaders in shot frequency at the rim; an area where the Knicks defence actually excels, leading the league in opponent FG% allowed. The return of Nerlens Noel will certainly aid them in that regard and if New York can force them to rely on jump shooting to stay in the contest they’re maximise their advantage.

As previously mentioned the Lakers were forced into a much tougher matchup against the Pistons than they were anticipating and have to suit up against Indiana tomorrow night in a quick turn around. With No LeBron and Anthony Davis sitting as questionable, it’s entirely possible they mail in tonight’s game.

I have the Knicks as five point favourites in this game and fully expect the home side to take advantage of this matchup. Adjusting for Davis being out with LeBron and those projections move closer to double-digits.

Our best bet: New York Knicks -6.5 $1.92 at PlayUp



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