Things are starting to get serious with the NBA All-Star Game marking the beginning of an exciting race towards playoff basketball.
Celtics Smash Sixers
The Philadelphia 76ers are going through a little bit of a mid-season rebuilding phase following their trade for James Harden last week. Still, to lose in the fashion they did to the Boston Celtics just before the All-Star break is a slight cause for concern.
Losing 135-87 is bad enough, but to allow the Celtics to make 25 three-point shots while only connecting on 23 field goals yourself is a horror show. It’s the first time in the three-point era (since 1979-80) that a team has made more three-point field goals in a game than their opponent had total field goals.
The win made it nine in a row for the Celtics who have hit a purple patch. Now 34-26 for 6th in the Eastern Conference, they’re at $26 to win the 2021-22 NBA Championship.
Giddey Up, Up, Up
It wasn’t long ago that we had our eye on the NBA calendar, slightly concerned that Aussie’s Josh Giddey wouldn’t become the youngest player in history to record a triple-double. As it turns out, he’s the youngest, second-youngest, third-youngest AND fourth-youngest thanks to three on the bounce heading into the break.
@ Bulls: 11 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists
@ Knicks: 28 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists
Spurs: 17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Giddey has been a relevant player in the Rookie of the Year race for quite some time now. However, it is only just starting to show in the markets. Having opened at $12 before drifting out to $17, Giddey is now on the second line of betting behind Evan Mobley ($1.30) at $6.50.
DeRozan DeMands Respect
DeMar DeRozan has been on fire all season but even those that weren’t prepared to give him credit can’t ignore his latest feat.
The Chicago Bulls superstar became the first player in NBA history to score 35+ points while shooting over 50% from the field in seven consecutive games. The “MVP” chants are only growing louder despite the lack of relative reaction in the Most Valuable Player market. He’s still out at $18 to win the award.
AD Goes Down (Again)
The Los Angeles Lakers started to show the slightest sign of ability following the trade deadline. With the roster locked in outside of possible buy-out candidates, LeBron James and Anthony Davis appeared to just get on with it. While losing 117-115 in the end, the Lakers put up a strong fight against the Golden State Warriors before impressing in their 106-101 win over the Utah Jazz. At 27-31 for 9th in the Western Conference and starting to play well, things were looking up for the purple and gold.
That was until they looked down to see Anthony Davis in pain.
Anthony Davis has a mid-foot sprain and will be evaluated again in four weeks, team says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 18, 2022
He’s out for at least a month with the Lakers now at serious risk of missing the playoffs. They will need to far exceed their 37.5 win total ($1.78) if they’re to even make the play-in tournament let alone walk straight into the post-season.
Curry Cooks In All-Star Game
Sure, nobody plays any defence in the NBA All-Star Game.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that Steph Curry caught fire and put on a show of his own, though.
He first broke Paul George’s record of nine three’s in a game before hitting another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another…
Steph Curry is the first player ever with 10+ threes in a All-Star Game. pic.twitter.com/rR8YQ0Mr2i
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 21, 2022
With or without defence, to knock down 16 three-point shots from everywhere on the court is an impressive effort. His jaw-dropping performance ended with 50 points (two short of Anthony Davis’ ASG record) and the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP award.