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Four NBA teams to play or fade coming out of the All-Star break


Here are four teams to watch when the NBA and basketball betting online returns to action later this week

Four NBA teams to play or fade coming out of the All-Star break | News Article by

The NBA has enjoyed an extended break during the Association’s annual All-Star celebrations. That’s given teams plenty of time to focus on the road ahead. For some, that road leads to the postseason. For others, it may be downhill slid that leads to the top lottery pick in the draft.

Here are four teams to watch and why, when the NBA and basketball betting online returns to action later this week:

Detroit Pistons (Postseason push)
The Pistons stirred the pot before the NBA trade deadline by adding power forward Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers. And so far, that move has paid off. Griffin is averaging just over 20 points per game and helping Detroit post a 5-3 SU record in his eight games with the club, including a win over Atlanta before the break in which Griffin missed a triple-double by only one assist.

Unfortunately for NBA bettors backing the Pistons in those spots, Griffin’s presence has puffed up the pointspread just enough for Detroit to cover only once in that eight-game span. Coming out of the break, Detroit is just outside the postseason in the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference and has some stiff challenges out of the gate, versus Boston, Toronto, and Milwaukee in their upcoming games.

Los Angeles Clippers (Time to tank)
Speaking of Griffin, his former team could be planning ahead for next season after dealing Chris Paul this offseason and sending Griffin packing earlier this month. The Clippers failed to move star big man DeAndre Jordan but their intentions were obvious and Jordan is less-than-happy about that. Bettors can expect a half-hearted effort from L.A.’s top talent in the remainder of the season.

Los Angeles is currently ninth in the Western Conference, thanks in part to a solid run to enter the break. The Clippers won seven of nine games straight up and covered the spread in six of those appearances. Hopefully you cashed in on the Clips when you could. With the Pacific Division among the weakest in the NBA – save for the Warriors – the Clippers will be betting faves most nights. But the motivation will be in question as the postseason draws near.

New York Knicks (Time to tank)
For a while there, things looked promising in the Big Apple. The Knicks weren’t the laughing stock of the league and bettors were actually banking some solid profits on New York in its first season of the post-Melo era. And then Kristaps Porzingis got hurt and with their versatile forward done for the season after tearing his ACL, the Knicks fell into a terrible sorrow. New York, which had lost three straight before Porzingis’ injury, has lost all four games without him and has covered only once in the past eight games.

The Knicks are 11th in the East and well off the pace of the eighth-placed Heat. New York has an aging starting five, with fifth-year guard Tim Hardaway Jr. as the spriest legs on the floor. There's a desperate need for an injection on youth to put around Porzingis and no one would blame – or maybe even notice – if the Knicks turned on the tank in the final two months of the season.

Utah Jazz (Postseason push)
Utah entered the break as the hottest team in the NBA, riding an 11-game winning streak in which it covered the spread in eight of those outings. That winning run included victories over six teams currently in postseason position, including the defending champion Warriors.

The Jazz are in 10th place in the Western Conference, back 1.5 games of the eighth-placed Pelicans. Utah is a dangerous team, with a small-market profile and little-to-none in terms of star power. The Jazz sit at the bottom of the Northwest Standings but are just 2.5 games out of second place, so a postseason place is well within reach for one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.

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