The bloom sort of feels off the rose on these alleged marquee matchups. Simply put, the Milwaukee Bucks are a lot better than the Golden State Warriors at this point. And the Boston Celtics are certainly a lot better than the Los Angeles Lakers. That doesn’t mean that the Warriors or Lakers are incapable of delivering a sterling performance and taking out their respective Eastern Conference powerhouse. Just that these games don’t feel like two titans matching up and a win making a statement of any kind. If Giannis and the Bucks win, well, yeah, they were supposed to. If Tatum and the Celtics lose, well, they had an off night and it’s always tough to visit Los Angeles.
Then again, there aren’t too many great teams overall in either conference. The NBA landscape feels very much in flux. As the old guard passes the torch to new standard-bearers, we will see which legacy franchise is able to remake themselves into a new kind of contender. For now, I’ll just imagine what it’ll be like when the Bucks and Celtics beat the hell out of each other.
Golden State Warriors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee Wisconsin
Odds: Warriors +4
Golden State Warriors (14-13)
Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Milwaukee Bucks (19-7)
Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
When: 10 p.m. ET
Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
Odds: Lakers +4
Boston Celtics (21-7)
Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Blake Griffin
Los Angeles Lakers (11-15)
Dennis Schroder, Patrick Beverly, Lonnie Walker, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
For today’s look at the DraftKings odds, I’m going to move beyond the point spread and get a little bolder. You can get a Jaylen Brown single-game parlay at +265 for a performance of 20 points, 5 rebounds, five assists. Brown hasn’t failed to hit 20 points in a game he’s played since Nov. 4. He’s collected at least five rebounds in eight of his past nine contests. And while Brown is only averaging 3.5 assists so far this year, the Lakers are ranked 24th in opponent’s assists per game. Feels like this could be a good night for an all-around performance from Brown.