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NBA – Week 17 In Review

The NBA trade deadline has passed and shaken up the championship market with the Nets and 76ers making big moves either way. Meanwhile, the Lakers continue to drift despite LeBron James’ stellar play.

NBA Trade Deadline Passed

It had been quiet on the trade front but it all kicked off shortly before the deadline. Here are the deadline day deals pushed through:

76ers get: James Harden, Paul Millsap
Nets get: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, picks

Mavericks get: Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans
Wizards get: Kristaps Porzingis, pick

Celtics get: Derrick White
Spurs get: Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, picks

Celtics get: Daniel Theis
Rockets get: Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom, Bruno Fernando

Bucks get: Serge Ibaka, picks
Clippers get: Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, Vanja Marinkovic
Kings get: Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles, David Michineau, pick
Pistons get: Marvin Bagley II

Hornets get: Montrezl Harrell
Wizards get: Vernon Carey Jr. Ish Smith, pick

Suns get: Torrey Craig
Pacers get: Jalen Smith

Suns get: Aaron Holiday
Wizards get: Cash

Raptors get: Thaddeus Young, Drew Ebanks, pick
Spurs get: Goran Dragic, pick

Magic get: Bol Bol, PJ Dozier, picks
Celtics get: pick

Instant Reaction

Seeing the Brooklyn Nets jump from $4.50 favourites out to the fourth line of betting at $7 is a big surprise. If Ben Simmons gets out on the court any time soon, this Nets team is scary good. He instantly improves their defence which ranks 22nd in the NBA. Where James Harden is lazy, an easy target and inconsistent at best, Simmons is one of the best in the league and a Defensive Player of the Year candidate when playing a full season. Offensively, they’ll do just fine when healthy. Simmons + shooters is the ideal scenario for the Aussie. It all depends on when Simmons returns, but $7 is worth taking right now.

The 76ers, on the other hand, require some convincing. They’re into $7.50 from $14 which assumes Harden won’t continue to struggle despite the move. He’s not playing his best basketball while Joel Embiid is the current $2.50 favourite to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. So, the 76ers have one of the best players in the league right now but have added one of the most disruptive. That’s…certainly no guarantee of success. Defensively, it’s less than ideal. Embiid is an excellent pick and roll defender but that requires a certain level of effort from his guy on the perimeter. Harden may not only take the ball out of Embiid’s hands on offence, but take away from his defensive presence, too.

I was shocked as well, Luka. The Dallas Mavericks rolled the dice on Kristaps Porzingis and it hasn’t worked as plan. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious plan for this trade either. It will be interesting to see how Doncic links up with Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans in the coming weeks. The 33-24 Mavericks are at $41 in the championship market.

More wings for the LA Clippers! They’re stockpiling at one position but there are some interesting elements to this trade. Primarily, Bagley II to the Detroit Pistons. Things haven’t worked out for Bagley at the Sacramento Kings but he has the talent to succeed elsewhere and should be provided with plenty of opportunities in Detroit.

King James

LeBron James has now scored the most points in NBA history (regular season and playoffs combined).

He took the ‘unofficial’ title by scoring 26 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-117 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Things are still a mess at the Lakers. They couldn’t shift Russell Westbrook before the deadline and he continues to produce quotes that promote a quick palm to face action. But this is it for the Lakers this season. They’ve made their bed and are now $31 to get out of it as champions.

Championship Odds

The markets have moved a little bit now that the deadline has passed and are likely to shift again as buyouts are negotiated. As it stands, the Phoenix Suns are $5.50 to win the NBA championship. They’ve been the best team all season and are finally starting to be recognised as bonafide contenders. Last season wasn’t a fluke…

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