The NBA restart inside the Orlando bubble has flown by. The bubble seeding games are almost over, but before the playoffs can begin, there is still some unfinished business that must be settled on the final day of games.
The main source of drama is in the Western Conference, where four teams — the Blazers, Grizzlies, Suns, and Spurs — will be fighting it out for the two play-in spots.
SBOBET takes a closer look at the huge games involving those four teams, as well as the remaining matchups that will round out the seeding portion of the restart.
Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics
Neither the Wizards nor the Celtics have much left to play for at this point. Although, the winless Wizards might have more motivation as they look to get at least one victory in the Orlando bubble before going back home. They’ve lost all seven of their games thus far, all of which have been by eight points or more.
Washington could very well have a good shot at getting that elusive win against a Celtics team that could decide to sit its stars such as Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward to prevent injury ahead of the first round of the playoffs.
Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers
Similar to Wizards-Celtics, Kings-Lakers also doesn’t have much at stake. The Lakers have long secured the No. 1 seed in the West, while the Kings have been eliminated from playoff contention after struggling mightily in the bubble.
The Lakers are coming off a dramatic victory over the Nuggets thanks to Kyle Kuzma’s game-winning shot. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis played 38 minutes in that game, but it’s highly unlikely either comes anywhere close to that mark against Washington with the playoffs coming up — if they even play at all.
The Lakers have struggled offensively in the bubble even with their star duo playing, so their possible absence would give the Kings a legitimate shot at victory.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies face a must-win situation against Milwaukee. They must beat the Bucks to ensure a place in the West play-in game. At first glance, beating the East’s No. 1 seed seems to be a tough ask, but the Grizzlies have some things going for them.
For one, the Bucks will be without reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for the finale after the Greek Freak got a one-game suspension for headbutting the Wizards’ Moe Wagner in their last game. Antetokounmpo’s absence will be a big blow to the Bucks, but he might have not played in that game anyway.
There’s also the matter of Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer’s relationship with Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, who was once part of Bud’s staff. It can’t be ruled out that he give his former colleague a more favourable shot at winning by sitting most of his star players in the finale.
Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns
The Suns are in a similar must-win situation. Phoenix have been the surprise package in the bubble, having gone a perfect 7-0 thus far. But despite their brilliance, they still need to beat the Mavericks in their last game and hope either the Grizzlies and/or Blazers lose theirs to make it into the play-in game.
The Suns should like their chances of getting the win as they face the Mavs, who have essentially nothing left to play for. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle has already sat stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis in a previous game, so it won’t be a surprise if they do so again in the finale.
San Antonio Spurs vs Utah Jazz
The Spurs are in the same boat as the Suns, but they need more things to go their way. Not only do they need to beat the Jazz in their final game, but they must also hope that at least two of the Suns, Blazers, or Grizzlies lose to make the play-in game.
At the very least, San Antonio should hold up their end of the bargain. The Spurs have been on quite a roll of late, winning each of their last three games. That streak began by beating a shorthanded Jazz team missing its stars. But with Utah still missing Donovan Mitchell, the Spurs should be able to get that W.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Brooklyn Nets
At this point, Portland clearly have the best NBA 2020 odds to make it to the play-in. The Blazers simply need to beat the Brooklyn Nets to seal the No. 8 seed. And even if they don’t win, they can still get No. 8 if the Grizzlies, Suns, and Spurs all lose.
But clearly, Damian Lillard would prefer to put Portland in the playoffs himself. Lillard has been on an unbelievable hot streak which has seen him put up back-to-back 50-point games, including a career-high-tying 61 points in their win against the Mavs.
As great as Lillard has been, though, he might finally be feeling fatigued heading into this matchup against the Nets, who have gone 5-2 in the bubble.
Betting Tip: Nets Asian Handicap +9.00 @ 1.99
New Orleans Pelicans vs Orlando Magic
After entering the bubble with so much hype, the Pelicans will leave Orlando in disappointment. Their NBA 2020 results in the bubble have been poor as they’ve gone just 2-5, and they won’t even have rookie phenom Zion Williamson for the finale.
Fortunately, though, they still have a decent shot at picking up a win in their last game as they face the similarly struggling Magic. Orlando have been beset by multiple injuries which have seen them lose their last five games in a row. And with the playoffs coming up, the Magic would much rather hold out their injured stars rather than risk playing them against the Pelicans.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE BASKETBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.