Usually, the two games on the NBA on TNT Thursday doubleheader start at 8 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET, respectively. Sometimes, though, both games are moved up an hour and that’s the case this week.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The opener features the Boston Celtics at the Miami Heat. Here we are halfway through the regular season (some teams have reached 41 games) and these Eastern Conference rivals haven’t played once yet. Boston is the only East team that the Heat haven’t faced and they still have three more meetings after this one. Quite possible they end up squaring off in the first round of the playoffs.
Miami won two of the three against Boston last season but that was thanks in large part to guard Goran Dragic, who averaged 24.5 points against the Celtics. Dragic is currently out several weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery. The Heat will have an advantage here in that Boston will be playing in the second of a back-to-back after hosting Indiana on Wednesday. The Celtics are just 2-4 in the second of a back-to-back this season. They have covered five of their past six in Miami, though.
The nightcap features Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the San Antonio Spurs. Advantage Thunder, as San Antonio will be playing the second of a B2B after visiting Memphis on Wednesday. The Spurs are 1-6 straight up in the second of a B2B this season.
Thunder-Spurs also could well be a first-round playoff matchup, but of course in the Western Conference. It’s their first meeting in 2018/19. The teams split four a season ago. San Antonio has won the past six at home against OKC. The home team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight.
The most interesting game of the night could be Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets, which isn’t on national television. They are two of the biggest surprises in the West, with Denver battling the Golden State Warriors for the conference’s best record and the Clippers not too far back. Denver could be the toughest place to play in the NBA with that altitude, and the Nuggets are a conference-best 16-3 at home and have won their past two there.
The Clippers and Nuggets have split two meetings this season in Los Angeles. The favorite is 6-1 ATS in the past seven overall.