LeBron James has played in eight straight NBA Finals and hasn’t missed the postseason since his first two seasons in the league with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, it’s looking more and more likely that LeBron’s first season with the Lakers will end on April 9 against Portland.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gives the Lakers less than a one percent chance of reaching the playoffs. That number will shrink should Los Angeles lose at home to the Denver Nuggets in Wednesday’s marquee NBA game. There was some talk that the Lakers might add 10-time All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony (a buddy of LeBron’s) for the final six weeks or so of the season, but that has been put on hold with the team’s playoff chances so remote.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, are battling the Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver and the Lakers split two early-season meetings, each winning at home. This is the finale between them as Los Angeles looks for its first season series win over the Nuggets since the 2011-12 season. The home team is on an eight-game cover streak in the series.
Could this year’s Southeast Division be the worst in NBA history? Quite possible as every team in the league was at least five games under .500 as of Tuesday. Only the division champion will make the playoffs, and that’s simply because the rest of the bottom half of the Eastern Conference is so terrible.
The Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic are “battling” for the Southeast title, and the Heat visit the Hornets in an important game Wednesday. Miami is an odd club because it has a better road record than at home. The Hornets entered this season on a six-game losing streak to Miami but lead the season series 2-0.
This will be the retiring Dwyane Wade’s last-ever game in Charlotte, so expect some sort of tribute – Hornets owner Michael Jordan probably will be on hand to participate. Miami is 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight meetings and is a 3-point underdog for Wednesday night.
And the struggling Boston Celtics might be looking at a bit of a letdown game Wednesday when they visit the much-improved Sacramento Kings. That’s because Boston had a big one at Golden State on Tuesday night. Wouldn’t surprise if the Celtics sit star point guard Kyrie Irving in the second of a back-to-back against the Kings.
It’s the first meeting between the teams, with Boston sweeping a season ago. The Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 in the second game of a back-to-back; this game is set as a pick’em on the NBA odds.