This Week’s Standout NBA Matches (February 12-18)
The Philadelphia 76ers’ playoff push is still very much on track, and three straight victories heading into their midweek tie with the Knicks has certainly raised the confidence of their young squad.
The Sixers prepared for this game with an impressive 112-98 victory over the LA Clippers as Joel Embiid, who recovered from a fall in the fourth quarter, bagged 29 points; Ben Simmons added a further 14 and claimed ten assists on the night.
The Knicks haven’t had a particularly memorable season and currently sit 11th in the standing having lost 30 of their 56 matches and are yet to pick up a victory in five attempts during February. The Embiid-Saric-Simmons combo has been incredibly dominant in recent weeks; they are likely to sweep aside their opponents here and should be backed on the points spread.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty to play for at the top of the Western Conference with two of this season’s standout teams meeting at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The Houston Rockets have played two fewer games than the majority of the teams around them and they also have the second-best form on the road this year. They’ve been defeated in just seven of their 27 matches on their travels but this will be incredibly difficult against a Minnesota Timberwolves side who have only lost five matches here since the NBA season got underway.
Golden State Warriors Hoping to Keep Their Distance
The Golden State Warriors are narrowly leading the way at the top of the Western Conference but they cannot afford to drop any points against the Portland Trail Blazers. They were involved in a high-scoring game on February 10, beating the San Antonio Spurs 122-105, with Klay Thompson scoring 25 points. That victory earned coach Brian Kerr his 250th victory but he won’t be resting on his laurels as his side need to ensure the gap between themselves and the chasing pack doesn’t begin to close. The Trail Blazers have won just one of their last four matches on the road so it’s advised to keep the Warriors onside here.
Oklahoma City Thunder have been in dreadful form recently and face a difficult match-up against Eastern Conference hotshots Cleveland Cavaliers. Their opponents are now just -333.33 shots to finish top of the Central Division with Betway and they come here off the back of a tricky road game against the high-flying Boston Celtics just days earlier and perhaps the Thunder can take advantage of any tiredness creeping in.