The NBA returns to the hardwood tonight following a rare night off in the 2nd round of the 2022 NBA playoffs. For the 76ers and Mavericks, a return home is hopefully a welcomed sight, as both teams face an 0-2 deficit as the Heat and Suns look to put the pedal down.
With injuries a factor for all teams at this point in the season, let’s take a look at both games and this two-legged parlay I have cooked up for tonight.
Leg #1. Heat -3 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The 76ers will have to make due once again without MVP candidate Joel Embiid and his 30.6 points per game, as the big man is out once again with head injuries. If recent performances are any indication, dating back since his acquisition at the All-Star break, former league MVP James Harden once again won’t have much to contribute.
Averaging just 18 points per game this series, the 76ers have instead turned to second-year player Tyrese Maxey who is averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game. Despite Tobias Harris averaging 23, the Heat have simply locked those two down as much as they can and let the rest of the team beat them.
So far, so good.
DeAndre Jordan, who is the only other big man on this 76ers roster, has so far racked up a +/- of -22 this series. Shooting just 22 percent from deep, the 76ers are also missing the production of Seth Curry, who was traded for Harden to the Nets.
As far as the Heat are concerned, Kyle Lowry has missed both games so far this series, as all indications point towards head coach Erik Spoelstra choosing to rest the former All-Star once again tonight, as he could likely go as needed.
With blood in the water, I expect the Heat to put the pedal down tonight and force this series to the brink.
Leg #2. Suns -1 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
Averaging 40 points per game through the first two of this series, it’s safe to say the problem for the Mavericks thus far is not Luka Doncic. Still, if the Mavericks want a shot at evening the series up at some point, Doncic needs to be a part of getting his teammates going, especially Jalen Brunson who had one breakout performance after another in their opening-round series against Utah.
However, the task might be an impossible one as the Suns are averaging 125 points per game over their past two, shooting a staggering 73% effective field goal percentage. While I do expect some regression from the field and a renewed sense of defense tonight from the Mavs at home, the Suns just have too many weapons that can kill you at a moment’s notice.
Expect this series to end in Dallas.
Total Odds: +264 at DK Sportsbook
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