Jayson Tatum turned up in Week 19 of the 2020/21 NBA season but the Oklahoma City Thunder certainly didn’t. They’ve embraced the tank of late. The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, have ended a ten-year drought to book their spot in the playoffs.

Tatum Turning It Up

Take a bow, Jayson Tatum. 

His 31 points in the 4th quarter and overtime saw the Boston Celtics reel in a massive 32-point deficit as the San Antonio Spurs got off to a flier. 

A 39-16 lead after the 1st quarter put the Spurs in the box seat. While the Celtics rebounded to score 32 points in the 2nd, the Spurs extended their lead to 77-48 at halftime. 

A 42-point 3rd quarter got the Celtics to within 13 and gave Tatum a chance to turn it on, and turn it on he did. With 20 points in the 4th and another 11 in overtime, Tatum finished with 60 points on 20-37 shooting to lead the Celtics to an incredible 143-140 comeback win.

The Celtics are still way down on the 11th line of betting in the NBA championship market at $46.

#ThunderDown

The Oklahoma City Thunder are taking tanking to a new level at the moment. Their 152-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers is the most points they’ve allowed in regulation in franchise history.

To really put how poor the Thunder are into perspective, the Pacers put up the most points in franchise history WITHOUT Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, Jeremy Lamb and TJ Warren.

The NBA thought they went some way to fixing tanking when giving the worst three records an equal chance (14%) of landing the number one pick. Still, the Thunder can’t even get there with their 21-43 record the fifth-worst in the league and a 10.5% chance of picking first in the upcoming NBA Draft.

The Sun Is Shining In Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns have secured a place in the NBA playoffs for the first time in a decade. 

It has triggered a conversation around Chris Paul’s place in the Most Valuable Player list…

Like last week when talking about Steph Curry, to put Paul in the discussion requires a total change in how the award is judged. In theory, Paul is one of the most valuable players in the NBA in regards to his team. The Suns wouldn’t have secured their spot in the playoffs at this point of the season, if they even do at all, without Paul. 

Luka Doncic Illustrious Company

Luka Doncic finished up with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 20 assists in the Dallas Mavericks’ 125-124 win over the Washington Wizards.

It shouldn’t really take that sort of performance from Doncic for the Mavericks to beat the Wizards, but they needed every bit of the Slovenian’s dominance in this one. Doncic becomes just the fourth player in NBA history – alongside Oscar Robinson, Magic Johnson and Russell Westbrook – to record a 30-point and 20-assist triple-double. The Mavericks will need a few more if they’re to shorten from $18 to win the Western Conference.

NBA Against The Spread Standings

The New York Knicks streak of covering the spread ended at 12 but they got straight back into their work to convincingly cover their -4 in a 113-94 win over the Chicago Bulls. Their next game is against the worst ATS team in the NBA. At 22-42 against the spread this season and +9.5 in this one, little is expected of the Houston Rockets on Monday.

After Week 19

Top 10
Bottom 10
Knicks (40-22-1)Pelicans (29-34-1)
Suns (39-23-1)Bucks (29-34)
Grizzlies (38-24-1)Lakers (28-34-1)
Wizards (36-28)Kings (28-34-1)
Clippers (36-28-1)Kings (28-34-2)
Jazz (36-28)Heat (28-34-2)
Hawks (35-29-1)Thunder (28-35-1)
Spurs (34-27-1)Pacers (26-37)
76ers (33-26-1)Cavaliers (24-40)
Pistons (33-28-2)Rockets (22-42)

 

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