The NBA regular season is winding down but the two favourites for the championship could do with another week or two to prepare for the playoffs.
Westbrook Tripiling Up
Russell Westbrook finished up with 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists in the Washington Wizards overtime win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. It’s Westbrooks 181st triple-double which equals Oscar Robinson’s record for the most in NBA history.
On pace to average a triple-double across a season for the fourth time in his career, there is a good chance Westbrook sets a new record in one of Washington’s four remaining games.
Nets Limping To The Finish
The Brooklyn Nets are limping their way through to the end of the NBA regular season. They’ve now lost four of their last five and are a concerning 10-11 when playing without James Harden since the trade.
Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have still only spent 186 minutes together on the court. There is little doubt that the trio can do enough on the offensive end to compete for the championship if they’re healthy come playoff time. However, the lack of cohesion in defence is a cause for concern. They’re currently 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating and have played with the 25th-ranked defence over the last fortnight.
Defence wins championships, and right now, we’ve not seen enough to be confident in Brooklyn’s $3.10 to win it all.
Are The Lakers In Trouble?
The Los Angeles Lakers are definitely in some sort of trouble. The losses have piled up for them to now be #7 in the Western Conference and destined for the play-in tournament. Anthony Davis is still working his way back from injury and LeBron James is struggling to stay on the court. Dennis Schroder is missing at the moment, too.
This is hardly ideal for Frank Vogel and the Lakers at this point of the season.
However, James isn’t unfamiliar with poor finishes to a regular season. Only one of his last eight Finals-bound teams has finished the regular season remotely well.
- 2020 Lakers: 2-5
- 2018 Cavaliers: 1-2
- 2017 Cavaliers: 0-4
- 2016 Cavaliers: 1-3
- 2015 Cavaliers: 2-4
- 2014 Heat: 2-6
- 2013 Heat: 8-0
- 2012 Heat: 1-3
It’s all a little bit different this year. James is dealing with an injury and the play-in tournament adds another wrinkle to their playoff push. Still, the Lakers are on the second line of betting to win the NBA championship at $6.
Bradley Beal Can’t Do It All
Bradley Beal is averaging 31.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season. He is doing everything he can alongside Westbrook to drag the Washington Wizards into a playoffs spot.
Bradley Beal has 17 40-point games since the start of last season.
The Wizards are 2-15 in those games. pic.twitter.com/toPhPGJpbr
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 6, 2021
He dropped another 50-burger on the Pacers before leaving the floor with a hamstring injury. It’s his 18th game of 40+ points or more. They’re now 3-15 in those games.
Right now, the Wizards are 32-36 for 10th in the Eastern Conference.
Pelicans Done In 2021
Pelicans star Zion Williamson has a fractured left ring finger and will be sidelined indefinitely, team says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 7, 2021
That will be it for the New Orleans Pelicans this season…
At 30-37 for 11th in the Western Conference, the Pelicans won’t be offering much with Zion Williamson out indefinitely.
NBA Against The Spread Standings
A 2-2 week against the spread keeps the New York Knicks at the top of the ladder. They aren’t dominating the spread quite like they were earlier in the season but still remain as a worthwhile consideration given their place in the standings. At a time of year when predicting motivation can be tricky, we know the Knicks aren’t tapering off in that regard.
After Week 20
|Top 10||Bottom 10|
|Knicks (42-24-1)||Bucks (31-36)|
|Suns (41-25-1)||Timberwolves (30-34-3)|
|Grizzlies (40-26-1)||Heat (30-35-2)|
|Jazz (39-29)||Lakers (30-36-1)|
|Wizards (38-29-1)||Kings (30-36-1)|
|Clippers (37-30-1)||Thunder (30-37-1)|
|Hawks (37-30-1)||Raptors (30-37-1)|
|76ers (36-28-4)||Pacers (28-39)|
|Spurs (36-30-1)||Cavaliers (24-43)|
|Pistons (35-30-3)||Rockets (24-44)|