The NBA’s trade deadline is fast approaching as the rumour mill heats up. Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers continue to make headlines in a strange week for the league.

The Shannon Sharpe Incident

The NBA world couldn’t contain itself as Shannon Sharpe jawed at Dillon Brooks during the first half of the Los Angeles Lakers win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The pair went back and forth before Steven Adams started to put an end to it. Sharpe is a tough dude, but Adams is one of the few that could have him reconsider how far he wanted to take it with Brooks. Next thing you know, Tee Morant (Ja’s father) is getting involved…

Sharpe was allowed to return to his seat in the second half, but not before he left a few quotes with reporters on his way back into the arena.

Brooks continued his verbal assault in the post-game press conference:

“I ain’t talking about that. You can ask him. He’s the blogger of whatever he is. I don’t really care about all that.

On whether or not Sharpe’s actions were appropriate for an NBA fan sitting courtside: “A regular pedestrian like him? No. He should have never come back in the game. But this is L.A.”

It’s the latest chapter in Memphis’ cringeworthy “we hate you, too” approach to this NBA season. They’ve had words with the Golden State Warriors which ended with them being humbled on Christmas Day. They’ve contributed to a stink in defeat to an average Lakers side. So far, the chatter coming from the Grizzlies seems to be doing more harm than good at times.

Speaking strictly of basketball, they’re one of the best teams in the league to be 31-14 for 2nd in the Western Conference. Scoring 115.2 points per 100 possessions to be 8th in offence and allowing just 109.6 to be the best defensive team in the NBA, the Grizzlies are a force to be reckoned with when they’re focused on the floor. Ja Morant, while a significant outsider to win the Most Valuable Player award at $26, is in the conversation while averaging 27.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game.

Experience and composure is the concern for the Grizzlies at this stage. They talk as though these confrontations is what they want, but the results don’t always reflect that. It seems more likely that a team, like the Warriors, will deliberately get under their skin in a playoff series and allow the Grizzlies to play themselves out of it. On the sixth line of betting to win the NBA Championship at $11, there is still some value in the Grizzlies if they can keep their heads.

Trade Chatter

The NBA trade deadline is approaching and front offices are working the phones looking for a deal that might improve their team, even if only by a little.

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to do something around the deadline. While LeBron James’ name has popped up, it feels more like a clickbait topic than anything substantial. Russell Westbrook is the piece they should move. He is playing well enough right now ($1.67 to win Sixth Man of the Year) that a handful of teams might be interested in the veteran at the right price. However, that right price is likely to involve 1st Round picks which the Lakers are reluctant to give up.

Elsewhere, Kyle Kuzma has made little attempt to hide the fact that he’s willing to be dealt. Also on the Washington Wizards roster, Rui Hachimura had “no comment” when quizzed on whether or not he asked for a trade. No comment is all the comment we need…

John Collins and Jae Crowder have been talked about for months. Crowder, who has refused to play for the Phoenix Suns all season, will surely find a new home. The San Antonio Spurs have been expected to hang Jakob Poeltl out in front of a contender in need of a big man all year, too. Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott will also attract interest. More recently, Fred VanVleet is a name doing the rounds. The Toronto Raptors aren’t particularly good or bad and need to make a move in one direction or another sooner or later.

Bojan Bogdanovic is too valuable to keep tanking in Detroit with plenty of teams circling the veteran. D’Angelo Russell is one of the many pieces in Minnesota that just doesn’t fit right now. John Wall never has in LA. With the Utah Jazz on the cusp of a full tank job, the expectation is for them to move on from Mike Conley Jr. and embrace the race up the NBA Draft order.

With only a few weeks until the deadline, the NBA could look very different after February 9th.

NBA Betting Trends Update

Home teams are the pick for punters to cover at 53.4% roughly halfway through the NBA season. Catching underdogs at home is even better, though. Covering at 57.8% eight weeks into the season, home dogs are still cashing in at 57% another two months later.

As far as points totals go, it’s an even split. If we ignore overtime games where the Over comes in at 85.1%, the Under is collecting in non-overtime games at 50.5% so far this season.

Isaac Returns

In positive news, Jonathan Isaac is making his return to the NBA this week.

He last played back in August 2020 when tearing his ACL in the bubble. Isaac missed the entire 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons while rehabbing his ACL and a separate knee injury before suffering a hamstring injury that required surgery.

The Orlando Magic are unlikely to push him too hard this season. He has so far played three games in the G-League averaging 15.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 17.7 minutes of action. Isaac is one to keep an eye on as the Magic push to make the 2023-24 season one they finally start climbing the standings.

NBA Championship Odds

We don’t need to check in on the teams towards the bottom of the NBA championship list. Here, we keep an eye on those inside the Top 10 each week.

The Denver Nuggets are the only major movers in an otherwise static Top 10 Championship Odds list.

Winners of nine on the bounce behind the stellar play of $1.91 MVP favourite Nikola Jokic (who we took at $34), the Nuggets lead the Western Conference with a 33-13 record. As a result, they’ve come in from $11 after Week 13 to be at $9 to win the championship as we head into the second half of the 2022-23 NBA season.

Top 10 Odds

Boston Celtics$4.50$4.50
Milwaukee Bucks$6.50$6.50
Brooklyn Nets$8$8
Denver Nuggets$11$9
Golden State Warriors$9.50$9.50
Memphis Grizzlies$12$11
Los Angeles Clippers$14$14
Phoenix Suns$15$15
Philadelphia 76ers$17$17
New Orleans Pelicans$19$19