Normally, TNT has a marquee doubleheader each week in the NBA on Thursday night. However, this Thursday is a light schedule because of the All-Star break so the network gets two excellent games on Tuesday.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The opener is Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers, probably the Eastern Conference’s best rivalry, with the Sixers as 5.5-point favorites. Easily could be a playoff preview. The 76ers got much better at the trade deadline in landing the best player on the Los Angeles Clippers, Tobias Harris, and adding some bench depth from the Orlando Magic in Jonathan Simmons by finally giving up on former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz.
Boston stood pat at the trade deadline, and everyone pretty much knows why: The Celtics are keeping all their assets to make a mega-offer this summer for Anthony Davis.
With the 76ers and Celtics bunched together in the East standings, winning the season series could be a crucial tiebreaker for playoff home-court advantage should the clubs finish with the same record. Boston leads the season series 2-0, but both games were on its home court and the teams haven’t played since Christmas. Celtics All-Star Kyrie Irving will miss this one due to a knee injury. Boston is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings.
The TNT nightcap features the Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors in what could be a Western Conference playoff preview. Golden State is an 8.5-point favorite. Neither team made a move ahead of the trade deadline; the Warriors don’t need to and the Jazz were interested in Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley but couldn’t make anything work.
Few teams can say they have had the Warriors’ number in the regular season of late, but the Jazz can. They took three of four last year and have split two close games in Salt Lake City this season. The teams haven’t played since December 19. This is their last meeting, meaning it’s also Utah’s last-ever trip to Oakland barring a playoff matchup. The Jazz have covered the past five in the series.
Looking for a team to fade the rest of the season? That would be the Grizzlies, who traded many of their best players, led by former All-Star center Marc Gasol, other than Conley. Memphis is fully committed to losing as much as possible the rest of the way to get as high a lottery pick as possible.
The Grizzlies host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. Memphis is 2-1 against San Antonio this season, holding the Spurs to a season-low 86 points in a 10-point victory in the most recent meeting on January 9 in Memphis. The Spurs enter on a seven-game ATS losing streak overall, but sit as 4-point betting favorites.