NBA BETTING PREVIEW: FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7
Knicks take on short-handed Celtics in key conference battle: The Knicks throttled the Celtics by 30 earlier this season but New York has been reeling of late with four losses in the last five games. That would seemingly set the Celtics up well for a revenge game, but Boston will be on the second game of a back-to-back set and will be without both Kemba Walker (rest) and Evan Fournier (health and safety protocols).
Nets face Pelicans sans Harden but with KD return: A Pelicans-Nets battle with both teams at full health would be star-packed affair, but Wednesday’s matchup is going to be lacking one big name from either side. Brooklyn’s seemingly never-ending carousel of injured stars sees Kevin Durant make long-awaited return from a hamstring issue Wednesday, but James Harden will not play now that he’s suffered a serious strain of his own. Meanwhile, on the other side, Brandon Ingram looks he may not suit up for New Orleans due to the toe injury that cost him the last four games.
Grizzlies and Hawks amid hot streaks, Morant healthy: The Grizzlies and Hawks both have found their stride of late, resulting in Memphis securing the No. 8 slot in the Western Conference for the moment and Atlanta climbing all the way up to No. 4 in the Eastern Conference. The Grizzlies received good news earlier Wednesday with Ja Morant not even on the injury report after exiting Tuesday’s win over the Heat with a back issue. The Hawks are also in decent health, although they’ll continue without John Collins as he recovers from his ankle injury.
Spurs look to get back on track versus Nuggets: In contrast to the Grizzlies and Hawks, the Spurs have actually managed to evict themselves from the Western Conference playoff standings for the moment after dropping eight of their last 10 games. San Antonio is now in the No. 9 seed and has seen its record even out at 24-24, and their Wednesday matchup isn’t exactly a recipe for breaking out of that funk. Gregg Popovich’s squad faces the surging, No. 4-seeded Nuggets, which have won six straight and are looking to avenge an earlier 119-109 loss to the Spurs.
Jazz and Suns tangle in late-night main event: The Jazz and Suns are 1 and 2 in the Western Conference, but it’s Phoenix that comes in the hotter squad with six straight wins. The Suns also notched a 106-95 victory over Utah earlier this season, and they also boast an excellent 18-8 home mark. Meanwhile, the Jazz are 16-10 straight up on the road, but they enter the contest as narrow 1.5-point favorites.