THE genuine contenders for the NBA Championship title have now well and truly emerged as we approach the always-hectic festive season.
Despite a shock loss to the Chicago Bulls this week, the Boston Celtics remain the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. They cannot afford many more defeats of that nature, however, as the Cleveland Cavaliers are closing fast with 15 wins in 16 outings.
Over in the Western Conference, James Harden and the Houston Rockets continue the lead the way with 10 victories on the bounce. Golden State Warriors are close behind, while the San Antonio Spurs round out a predictable top three.
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NBA multi tips – Thursday, December 14
- Wizards to beat Grizzlies – $1.28
- Celtics to beat Nuggets – $1.32
- Heat to beat Blazers – $1.70
- Bucks to beat Pelicans – $2.03
Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards
11am AEDT – Capitol One Arena, Washington DC
Grizzlies – $3.85
Wizards – $1.28
Now four games without a win, the Grizzlies are making a very strong play for the wooden spoon in the Western Conference. The Wizards come in off defeats to the Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers, so their recent form is hardly any better. Even so, Washington are sitting sixth on the ladder and should have the quality to snap out of their funk at home.
Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics
11:30am AEDT – TD Garden, Boston
Nuggets – $3.55
Celtics – $1.32
Although a fair way behind the leading pack in NBA West, the Nuggets have done enough to muscle their way into fifth spot. The Celtics struggled without Kyrie Irving against the Bulls, which has raised questions about what might happen if the Melbourne-born star is unavailable for any stretch of time. He should be back for Thursday, however, so get on Boston at the Garden.
Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat
11:30am AEDT – American Airlines Arena, Miami
Blazers – $2.22
Heat – $1.70
Portland have enjoyed some promising spells in the early part of the season, but five losses in a row have seen them slide out of the top four in the Western Conference. After facing the Cavs, Knicks, Warriors and Spurs in the space of five games, the Heat put away Memphis and Brooklyn with no fuss to keep touch with the playoff places. Again, we like the home team to take the honours.
Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans
12pm AEDT – Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
Bucks – $2.03
Pelicans – $1.82
This is one of the tougher games to tip this week. The twin towers of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis make New Orleans a force to be reckoned with, while the Bucks are coming in off a three-day break after consecutive wins over the Detroit Piston, Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz. The boys from Brew Town look decent value to keep the good times rolling.
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