Stan Van Gundy is definitely one of the more entertaining head coaches in the NBA. And with his Pistons currently struggling, you can expect a lineup change for Wednesday's game against Memphis. What will that be? I have no idea. But after Monday's ugly loss against Chicago, Van Gundy said rather humorously afterward: "I guarantee you on Wednesday we're not trotting that five out there" regarding his starting five. "It was a disgusting performance," SVG added of the Bulls' loss. "By all of us, me included. It was unprofessional, embarrassing, humiliating, whatever you want to say. It was terrible." The Pistons' starting five of Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson was a combined minus-153 for the Chicago loss. Drummond certainly isn't coming out. Most likely it will be Morris out and Jon Leuer in.
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Bucks at Cavaliers (TBA)
First of an NBA TV doubleheader. The league's schedule-makers have made things interesting with these division rivals. Cleveland had a home-and-home back-to-back last week with Memphis as did Milwaukee with Chicago. And Milwaukee hosted Cleveland on Tuesday night. Kevin Love didn't play that one for the Cavs as he had a "sore knee." Yeah right. I don't think Coach Tyronn Lue will rest LeBron James and Kyrie Irving here at home as he did last week in Memphis. Richard Jefferson started for Love on Tuesday and would here if it keeps Love out. The Bucks lost the two games in Cleveland last year by a combined 24 points.
Key trends: The Bucks are 4-10 against the spread in their past 14 on the road. The "over/under" is 5-2 in the past seven meetings in Cleveland.
Early lean: Wait to see what Cavs do.
Timberwolves at Hawks (TBA)
Minnesota beat visiting Phoenix 115-108 on Monday. Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 15 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins added 26 points. The Wolves went 24-for-25 from the line. Ricky Rubio has made his past 34 from there. Atlanta won in Oklahoma City 110-108 on Monday. Paul Millsap had a season-high 30 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 12.7 seconds left. Dwight Howard sat out with a minor back issue. Minnesota swept last the Hawks season and its 117-107 victory in Atlanta ended a 12-game losing streak there.
Key trends: The Hawks are 0-6 ATS in their past six home games. The over is 6-2 in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Wait on Howard.
Grizzlies at Pistons (-6, 186)
Memphis hosted Boston on Tuesday. Detroit lost its third straight Monday, 113-82 in Chicago. The Pistons allowed the Bulls 69 first-half points. One Detroit starter had double-digit points: Harris with 10. It sure didn't look much like the team cared in that one. Keep in mind that Van Gundy is the team's personnel boss as well so he can make any types of trades he wants. Memphis swept the Pistons last year and has won seven of its past eight trips to Motown (well, a suburb of it).
Key trends: The underdog is 6-0 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 5-2 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Wizards at Bulls (-4.5, 207.5)
Chicago's three-game losing streak ended with its 113-82 home blowout of Detroit on Monday. Jimmy Butler scored 19 points, and Rajon Rondo had 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. The Bulls shot 72.7 percent in the first half and led by 35 at the break. Washington's three-game winning streak ended in a 107-105 loss in Indiana on Monday on a last-second shot. Bradley Beal missed then a potential winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and scored 22 points. Marcin Gortat finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Chicago beat visiting Washington 106-95 on Nov. 12 behind 37 points from Butler. But the Wiz were without both John Wall and Beal.
Key trends: The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 5-1 in the previous six.
Early lean: Bulls and over.
Thunder at Pelicans (+1, 210.5)
New Orleans was in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Oklahoma City lost 110-108 at home to Atlanta on Monday despite 46 points from Russell Westbrook. He missed a late 3-pointer and it was rebounded and dunked by Steven Adams, but a review determined it came after the final buzzer. Oklahoma's City's four starters other than Westbrook made 7 of 26 shots and scored 24 points. Guard Victor Oladipo missed a fourth straight with a bruised wrist. New Orleans lost in Oklahoma City 101-92 on Dec. 4 in the first meeting. Westbrook had a triple-double of 28 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists.
Key trends: The Thunder are 8-3 ATS in the past 11 trips to New Orleans. The under is 7-1 in OKC's past eight overall.
Early lean: Thunder and under.
Kings at Jazz (TBA)
Utah was in Golden State on Tuesday and Sacramento was hosting Portland Advantage: Kings, although they were expected to be without Rudy Gay again. The team also decided to hand DeMarcus Cousins a big fine instead of a suspension for his confrontation recently with a reporter. Utah beat visiting Sacramento 104-84 on Dec. 10 in the first meeting. The Kings shot 3-for-22 from the field in the final quarter and were outscored 26-8. The eight points is the season low for points in a quarter.
Key trends: The Kings are 7-2-2 ATS in the past 11 at Utah. The under is 5-2-1 in the Jazz's past eight on Wednesday.
Early lean: Wait on Gay.
Rockets at Suns (+5, 224.5)
Houston hosted San Antonio on Tuesday looking to extend its winning streak to 11 games. Rockets center Clint Capela, really the only post presence and rim defender the team has, was out with what is now being reported to be a broken fibula and will miss 4-6 weeks. That's a big surprise as he did suffer what was called a left leg bruise on Saturday but said he was fine or I would have mentioned this in Tuesday's Opening Line Report. That's a big loss. Phoenix lost a third straight Monday, 115-108 at Minnesota. Eric Bledsoe had 27 in a losing effort. Houston's current five-game road winning streak is its longest in the all-time series vs. Phoenix.
Key trends: The underdog is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 5-1 in the past six.
Early lean: Suns and over.
Mavericks at Trail Blazers (TBA)
Second NBA TV game. Portland was in Sacramento on Tuesday. Dallas lost 117-107 in Denver on Monday. Deron Williams led Dallas with 23 points and eight assists. Backup point guard J.J. Barea returned to the lineup after missing a month with a strained right calf. He had 11 points in 13 minutes. Portland defeated Dallas, 105-95, in Big D on Nov. 4. Damian Lillard scored a season-high 42 points. The Trail Blazers also have won three of their past four home games against the Mavericks.
Key trends: The Mavs are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 12-3 in Portland's past 15 at home.
Early lean: Not sure why TBA unless oddsmakers think Dirk Nowitzki could actually return. Doubtful.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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