NBA Monday Night: 5 Things To Look Out For In Tonight’s Games

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San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers

Tonight’s NBA slate is loaded as all 30 teams across the league will be playing. At 8:00pm, the 7-2 Phoenix Suns will travel east to take on the 4-6 Philadelphia 76ers on NBATV. Later in the evening the 2-7 Los Angeles Lakers will take on an 8-3 Utah Jazz team that’s been playing above their expectations early on. 

Luka Doncic looks to keep his streak of 30 or more points in each game to begin the season. The Mavericks will take on the Brooklyn Nets tonight who will get Ben Simmons back on a minutes restriction. Doncic has had 30 or more points in eight straight games.

At 10:30pm tonight, the 8-1 Cleveland Cavaliers will travel west to take on the 5-5 LA Clippers. NBA betting sites have the Clippers at (+800) and the Cavs at (+1400) to win the Finals.

5 things to look out for in tonight’s games

1. Houston Rockets vs Orlando Magic

The 1-9 Houston Rockets will be facing the 2-8 Orlando Magic. Both have had their fair share of losing early on, but tonight offers a chance for the one of them to get a much needed win. Houston lost three straight games to begin the season, got a win in their fourth, and then have lost six straight again. Rookie PF Jabari Smith hasn’t started off as quick as he’d hoped. He plays over 30 minutes per game, but averages just 10.8 points per game.

Orlando has been better as of late, going 2-3 in their last five after starting the season with five straight losses. Number one overall pick Paolo Banchero leads the Magic in scoring with (22.9) points per game. He’s proven that his dominance in the college level could translate to the NBA. Banchero has been a a bright spot for the team early on.

2. New Orleans Pelicans vs Indiana Pacers

New Orleans has alternated wins and losses since their second game of the season. That puts them at 5-4 coming into tonight’s matchup vs the Pacers. CJ McCollum has been reliable for the Pelicans this season and hasn’t missed a game yet. He’s playing (35.8) minutes per game and is scoring (21.6) per. Herbert Jones, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram have all missed in the early season.

The Indiana Pacers have been trending upwards as of late. The team is 3-1 in their last four games and are one game below .500 at 4-5. They have the chance to get a big win vs New Orleans tonight. Tyrese Haliburton has been having an all-star like season for the Pacers. He leads the team in points (21.9), assists (9.3), and steals (1.7) per game. He is one of the two players on the team who averages at least 30 minutes per game.

3. Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks 

The Milwaukee Bucks are the only unbeaten team left in the NBA at 9-0. They’ll face a 6-3 Atlanta Hawks team who they’ve already beaten this year, 123-115. Milwaukee is lead by MVP front-runner, Giannis Antetokounmpo. He averages (32.6) points and (12.9) rebounds per game. The Bucks want to be 10-0 after tonight.

Trae Yong and the Atlanta Hawks are first place in the Southeast Division coming into tonight’s game. They’ve won four of their last six games and one of those loses was to the Bucks. Dejounte Murray has been a great offseason addition for the Hawks. He’s another primary scoring option for them. Murray leads the team in steals (2.4) per game.

4. Boston Celtics vs Memphis Grizzlies

The Celtics are 3-2 in their last five games. They’ll play their first Western Conference opponent tonight, the Memphis Grizzlies. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown handle a lot of the scoring duties for the Celtics and are stars on the defensive end as well. Reigning DPOY Marcus Smart leads the team is assists (6.0) per game, proving he’s not just a one way player.

Memphis is 3-2 in their last five games as well, with both losses coming to the Utah Jazz. They will host the Boston Celtics tonight in a battle between two playoff caliber teams. At 7-3, the Grizzlies are in first place in the Southeast Division. Desmond Bane has emerged as the teams second highest scorer this season behind Ja Morant. He and Morant are the only two Grizzlies to play over 30 minutes a game and average at least 24 points.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers vs LA Clippers 

Cleveland has to be the second hottest team in the NBA right now behind the Milwaukee Bucks. They’ve won seven straight games an have a 8-1 record. Donovan Mitchell has been worth all the Cavs gave up for him. He’s helped lead the team to seven straight wins and will face a scrappy Clippers team tonight.

The Clippers have been better as of late, going 3-2 in their last five. At 5-5, their second in the Pacific Division. Paul George leads the team in points (24.9) per game this season. John Wall has played valuable minutes off the bench for the Clippers. As a team, they’ll try and stop the Cavaliers from getting their ninth straight win.