WHAT a massive day it is for the NBA.
Forget about every other game, all eyes will be Oracle Arena at 1.30pm AEST when former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant meet for the first time since the Slim Reaper’s offseason move to the Golden State Warriors.
it’s going to be a war!
Oh, did we say forget about the other matches?
Well, we didn’t really mean that, we need them to make our multi fun.
And our good friends over at Sportsbet.com.au have a great special promotion that will give us an interest in every game.
There are exactly five games on Friday and that fits perfectly into the online bookmaker’s five plus leg multi insurance.
Take a multi with all five legs and, as long as you get four of them home, you will get your money back in the form of a bonus bet, up to $50 of course.
The first game features the Orlando Magic hosting the Sacramento Kings from 10am AEDT, with a trio of games then kicking off at 11am – the Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets at the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics visiting the marauding NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Thunder then hit Oracle Arena as the feature game on ESPN2, if you want to watch.
Here’s a multi, who we think will win, and why.
Suggested multi for NBA Friday:
Orlando Magic to defeat the Sacramento Kings at $1.86
Milwaukee Bucks to defeat the Indiana Pacers at $2.11
Minnesota Timberwolves to defeat the Denver Nuggets at $1.67
Cleveland Cavaliers to defeat the Boston Celtics at $1.22
Golden State Warriors to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder at $1.14
Orlando Magic to defeat the Sacramento Kings
Here are two poor teams that are yet to find their feet in 2016. In the Kings case, they haven’t been able to find their feet since Chris Webber was running around in the early 2000s, while the Magic have been a shell since Dwight Howard skipped town for the LA Lakers all those years ago. We are picking the Magic to take the victory here. The Kings are a basket case who have a talented, but volatile big man in DeMarcus Cousins, who the officials hate and doesn’t know how to win. The Magic have former Thunder frontman Serge Ibaka and and gun centre Nikola Vucevic to lean on, as well as a solid back court let by Evan Fournier and Elfriid Payton. We give them the points at home.
Milwaukee Bucks to defeat the Indiana Pacers
This could be a battle of two of the brightest young stars in the NBA in Indiana’s Paul George and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. It feels like both these teams should be really good, but the reality is they both lack in facets that are prerequisites for success in the NBA. The Bucks simply cannot shoot the ball. Aussie Matthew Dellavedova is their best outside shooter with Khris Middleton on the sidelines with injury and, while we love Delly, that can’t be the case if you want to win. The fact that Indi really only have two NBA calibre players in George and young monster Myles Turner makes things very difficult for them. Monta Ellis is never going to be part of a deep playoff run. We give the points here to the Bucks, for similar reasons to the Magic, in that they are on their home floor.
Minnesota Timberwolves to defeat the Denver Nuggets
A couple of young sides packed with potential go head to head here. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are leading the way for the young Timberwolves, who will be hurt by the loss of playmaker Ricky Rubio due to injury. The Wolves fall on Zach LaVine now, and he has looked mighty fine since the Rubio injury. The Nuggets, meanwhile, are led by young point guard Emmanual Mudiay, who has received criticism for his patchy play, and towering Euro centre Jusuf Nurkic. If those two fire, they are a chance, but the Wolves should have too much firepower here.
Cleveland Cavaliers to defeat the Boston Celtics
The battle of the best in the east. This one, just like the one out west, should be a doozy. The even spread of contributors on the Boston roster, led by pint sized all star Isaiah Thomas, is set to be one of the biggest improvers in the league this season – especially with the addition of leading big man Al Horford from the Atlanta Hawks in the off season. But this Cavaliers team – traditionally a slow starter, has looked like a different beast after mopping up from its NBA title success last season. Look for Boston to push hard, but in the LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and company will just be too good for the upstarts visiting from Bean Town.
Golden State Warriors to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder
ALL NBA fans penned this one into their calendars as the one game to watch when the NBA season fixtures were released a couple of months ago. The excitement – and the anger – is palpable in a match that will pit former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Westbrook and Durant against each other for the first time. It’s going to be a huge build up, but an even bigger game. On paper, it looks like an easy win for the Warriors, but this one is harder to pick than you might think, especially given that Westbrook has entered this season with a massive chip on his shoulder. We still can’t go past the Warriors – they have so many weapons in Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and company, but look for Westbrook to be basically unstoppable and put up a monstrous line in a losing effort.
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