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Week 12 In Review – Big Injuries, Big Blowouts & Big Issues In LA

Injuries and blowouts defined the last week in the NBA. Unfortunately for the Lakers, it was more of the same as their poor run of form extended another seven days.

Haliburton & Morant Go Down

Tyrese Haliburton and Ja Morant both sent shockwaves around the NBA throughout the week. Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers can count their lucky stars as it appears as though he will only miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury. Morant, on the other hand, has been ruled out for the rest of the year.

Haliburton – averaging 23.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 12.5 assists per game – was a smokey option to win the Most Valuable Player award but is a non-factor at $81 following the injury. Already leaning heavily on the narrative angle and needing everything to go his way to be in with a chance, he’s unlikely to play the required number of games to be in contention now.

The conductor to the NBA’s best offence, Haliburton is a massive loss for the Pacers. He’s irreplaceable in their current scheme. Haliburton leads the NBA in assists, and his 50.9% assist rate is comfortably the highest in the league.

Indiana is still $1.26 to make the playoffs. However, there might be some value in their $3.75 to miss out. Hamstring injuries are inconsistent. While the word is Haliburton is out for two weeks before being reevaluated, there is every chance his stint on the sideline is extended by a further fortnight. A month is long enough for the Pacers to slip down the standings in an Eastern Conference where two wins separates 4th from 8th.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are done. They’re a lottery team now. There was the hint of a late-season run to the playoffs brewing, but without Morant to lead the way, Memphis’ win total is set at 37.5 as they play for draft position.

Blowout day

There are a number of different theories for the blowouts occurring at the moment.

It’s the time of the season when many locker rooms grow content or become riddled with discontent. The good teams know they’re good and are confident in flicking the switch come playoff time. The bad teams can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and are looking for people to blame.

However, there is no explaining away the fifth-largest deficit in NBA history.

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced themselves as genuine championship contenders at $17 with their hammering of the helpless Portland Trail Blazers. Thanks to a -56 in this one followed up with a -27 only 24 hours later, Scoot Henderson holds the unwanted record of the worst plus/minus across two games in NBA history.

One big blowout wouldn’t have been such an issue if TNT hadn’t ended the Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics game broadcast early. Billed as one of the season’s most anticipated games so far, the Bucks led by as many as 43 points as TNT attempted to look elsewhere in the league for their broadcast. The Thunder were already thumping the Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks held a big early lead over the New York Knicks.

It’s not a huge concern for the league – these days happen. Is there concern for the Celtics, though? To be beaten so badly is one thing. For it to be by one of your fellow contenders in the Eastern Conference might be painting a picture of things to come later in the season.

The Celtics remain as $2.30 and $3.75 favourites to win the East and championship, but the Bucks are heating up to be $3.10 to make it out of the conference and $5.50 to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Wemby Watch

There was a moment when those people on the internet could bask in the potential of Victor Wembanyama not being everything he’s cracked up to be.

Not any more…

“Wembanyama has averaged 35.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 6.1 blocks per 36 minutes in his last four games. Limited to only 25 minutes per game of late, he’s making every minute count.” NBA Week 11 In Review

In Week 12 the French rookie sensation recorded his first triple-double in only 21 minutes!

Wembanyama is defying his minutes restriction to put up massive numbers. Still, Chet Holmgren remains on the first line of betting to win Rookie of the Year at $1.53.

Wemby’s $2.37 won’t last, though.

His restriction in minutes and the fact he’s doing this on a bad team will become a major part of the ROY conversation at the pointy end of the season. There will be little to separate the two, and Wembanyama could yet have the better numbers despite playing fewer minutes.

Holmgren: 18 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 55.9% FG, 40.1% FG3%, 2.5 blocks
Wembanyama: 19.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3 assists, 45.2% FG, 29.4% FG3%, 3.1 blocks

Shooting and wins is where Holmgren has Wembanyama covered. Historically, ROY is all about counting stats and vibes. It’s only a matter of time before the Wembanyama hype train gains speed and overtakes Holmgrem in the market.

Lakers Still Losing

Things haven’t improved for the Los Angeles Lakers since last week. They’ve now lost six of their last eight and 12 of their last 17 games to be 11th in the Western Conference.

There are rumours of potential trades in a desperate attempt to push the ship back in the right direction. Austin Reaves is often mentioned, but the reported move for Dejounte Murray isn’t one that would move the needle. Rather, it would give the impression that the front office is trying to fix things without achieving anything of note.

Zach LaVine is another name in the news. Again, it’s surrounded by more questions. He doesn’t have a positive history as a teammate. Those involved in the always-doomed Russell Westbrook trade now have only just conceded that they ‘misjudged’ it.

A move for LaVine could have similar consequences despite the ceiling appearing much higher than it did before the Westbrook move.

With LeBron James now missing time with an ankle injury and the Lakers drifting out to $2.02 to make the playoffs, they’re likely to make a move – for better or worse – before the NBA’s trade deadline.

TOP 6 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS

TEAMCURRENT PRICELAST WEEK’S PRICE
Boston Celtics$3.75$4
Denver Nuggets$5$5
Milwaukee Bucks$5.50$5.50
LA Clippers$9$9.50
Philadelphia 76ers$13$13
Phoenix Suns$14$13
Bet Now NBA Futures

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