The Nets are trying to see what a team built around two of the top three picks from the 2015 NBA Draft would look like. D’Angelo Russell has played in five of the Nets last six games since returning from a prolonged knee injury, while former Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor has played over 20 minutes in each of his last two games.
The problem for Brooklyn right now is that neither player is helping the team win and every minute Russell or Okafor is on the floor the club gets outscored.
Of course, the Nets don’t have much choice who they can play, with key contributors Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson both missing time over the last week because of various nagging injuries. LeVert and Hollis-Jefferson are both questionable to play on Wednesday against the Sixers.
Pick: Under 211
Chicago fans were worried their team’s draft pick was going to be a low lottery pick because of all the winning in December and early January. But the Bulls are coming back down to Earth with four straight losses.
The Trail Blazers are taking advantage of a portion of their schedule filled with weak opposition. Portland is being powered by its All-Star guard Damian Lillard who is averaging 28.8 points on 53.7 percent shooting from the field over the last five games.
While Lillard provides all the offensive flash, Ed Davis is doing the dirty work for the Blazers off the pine. Davis is averaging 11 points and 10.4 rebounds over the last five contests and Portland is outscoring its opponents by 21.7 points per 100 possessions over the same stretch with Davis on the floor.
Pick: Blazers -7.5
Yesterday’s picks: 0-2
Season record: 96-108
*The over is 4-1 in the Grizzlies’ last five games.
*The under is 7-2-1 in the Pacers’ last 10 games.
*The under is 8-2 in the Magic’s last 10 home games.
*The under is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings between the Hawks and Hornets.
*The under is 6-1 in the Nets’ last seven games.
*The over is 4-0-1 in the Cavs’ last five games.
*The over is 9-2 in the Knicks’ last 11 games.
Injury of Note
Cleveland All-Star forward Kevin Love broke a bone in his hand during Tuesday’s tilt with the Pistons and is expected to miss six to eight weeks of action. The Cavs opened as 3-point chalk against Miami on Wednesday but the line dropped to 1.5 by midday on the East Coast. If the line holds it will be the fewest points the Cavs are giving at home so far this season outside of their game against the Warriors.
Ref to Watch
The Lakers are 0-10 straight up and 1-9 against the spread in the last 10 games worked by NBA ref James Williams. He’s the lead official for tonight’s game between Los Angeles and Orlando.
*The Grizzlies are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.
*The Magic are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games.
*The Hawks are 0-6 ATS in their last six games against Eastern Conference opponents.
*The Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games.
*The Blazers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games.
*The Mavs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
About 64 percent of Covers contest players are backing the Cavaliers to cover as 1.5-point home faves against the Miami Heat. You can see all of today’s NBA consensus picks here.