Surprise, surprise, the NBA’s two most popular teams this season, the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, are featured on the Thursday NBA on TNT doubleheader. Yes, that’s sarcasm. No teams will be on national television more than those two.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Golden State tips off at 8pm ET with its only visit of the season to the Washington Wizards, set as a 9.5-point betting favorite. Normally, that would be a matchup of All-Star backcourts in the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson vs. the Wizards’ John Wall and Bradley Beal, but Wall was lost for the season a couple of weeks ago. It’s a homecoming for Warriors star Kevin Durant, who grew up near the Washington, D.C., area.
The Dubs are asserting their dominance over the league right now on an eight-game winning streak, five by blowout. That includes a 19-point win at the Lakers on Monday in which Thompson tied an NBA record by making his first 10 three-pointers. Just for a point of comparison: Michael Jordan had a few years where he made fewer than 10 three-pointers IN A SEASON.
The Wizards actually have played better without Wall, winners of seven of their past 10. Golden State has won the past four in this series, including 144-122 in Oakland on October 24. Curry had 51 points and 11 made three-pointers in just three quarters. The home team has covered four of the past five in the series.
In the late TNT game, the Minnesota Timberwolves are 1.5-point favorites as they visit the Lakers, who are expected to be without LeBron James yet again due to the groin injury he suffered against Golden State on Christmas. Los Angeles is 5-9 without LeBron following Monday’s loss to the Warriors.
In addition, the Lakers just lost starting point guard Lonzo Ball for 4-6 weeks to a severely sprained ankle. Yet, there is potential good news on Thursday as there’s a good chance fellow point guard Rajon Rondo plays. He hasn’t since Christmas, either, due to a finger issue.
It has been a tumultuous season for the Wolves, who traded star Jimmy Butler and fired team president/coach Tom Thibodeau. They currently are on the outside of the Western Conference playoff field.
It’s the final meeting of the season between the Timberwolves and Lakers, with Minnesota leading 2-1. It did lose in Los Angeles on November 7 by a score of 114-110. LeBron had a big game that night. The Timberwolves are on a four-game cover streak in this series.