Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder @ 11:00 am AEST on ESPN
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors @ 1:30 pm AEST on ESPN
Two massive NBA Western Conference clashes will be aired on ESPN this Wednesday into Australian bars and lounge rooms.
Three of the sides featured in the day’s action are preparing for the NBA playoffs and all-important standings are still in play.
The first match of the day will see the eliminated Los Angeles Lakers travel to Oklahoma City to challenge the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook and Paul George have carried the Thunder to the eighth seed in the West with their ballistic offence and tight defence.
LeBron James will sit out the rest of the season while his shoulders recover from carrying his pathetic teammates, opening the door for the Thunder to get the job done here.
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Following the Lakers and Thunder will be a potential preview of the Western Conference Finals.
The number one-ranked Warriors will host the number two-ranked Nuggets — a must win clash for both sides in a game that could determine the top seed in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder betting tips
LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball will all miss the match for the Lakers.
Russell Westbrook and Paul George will contest well and drown the Lakers within the first quarter.
Steven Adams, the centre for OKC, is a brilliant defensive player. JaVale McGee is the centre for LA and although he is a capable player, he will find it difficult to impact when guarded by Adams.
The winner of this match will be Oklahoma City, but the margin of that victory is the real question.
Oklahoma City -12.5 @ $1.92
We expect the Thunder to clear the line with ease as the Lakers will field a truly terrible squad. Westbrook, George and the Thunder will want this match over early and the OKC bench will only compound the LA pain from there.
One player remains for the Lakers who will have an impact in this match. Reggie Bullock was acquired from the Pistons and has been serviceable since his arrival. In the Lakers 28-point victory over the Pelicans recently, Bullock posted 18-points coming off the bench. When the Lakers see that Rondo and McGee are finding it difficult to score, Bullock should get ample opportunity to score.
Denver Nuggets vs Golden State Warriors Tips
ESPN did a terrific job scheduling an undercard before the main event this Wednesday, as we all know what match is the real focal point.
When the Nuggets make their way to Oakland to challenge the Warriors, they will have the basketball world’s undivided attention.
Nikola Jokic will need to play one of his finest matches when facing Demarcus Cousins, as both players feed off emotion.
Whoever keeps a level head the longest will win the bout.
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are the big three on offence for the Warriors, while Draymond Green and Cousins are facilitators who sacrifice scoring opportunities for the greater good..
We know how capable the starters are for Golden State, but how will the bench fair in this clash?
Paul Millsap Double-Double @ $2.40
If Jokic and Cousins are evenly matched for rebounds, it will be up to Millsap to be the third man for support. Back in his Atlanta days, Millsap was a walking double-double and propelled the Hawks to victory on multiple occasions, but times have changes and he now fits into a system, one where he can still manage the occasional double-double.
As a trio they average 75-points per match, which includes all games that they were rested and played limited minutes. If all three superstars play slightly better than average, they will easily exceed the 80-point mark. We see Curry being the top scorer with well over 30 and Durant and Klay combining for 50 by the end of the match.
Golden State to Win @ $1.26
With all five starters playing for the Warriors, it will be too difficult for the Nuggets to enter a rhythm. Golden State by half a dozen sounds accurate.
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