Looking for a breakout-type superstar in the NBA next season like Golden State's Steph Curry was last year? I give you Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, a true Greek Freak who can basically play every position on the court at 6-foot-11 and with the wingspan with a pterodactyl. I've seen this guy go coast-to-coast in just four dribbles because his steps are so big. Antetokounmpo is still just 21 and he has exploded since Coach Jason Kidd moved him to point guard. Antetokounmpo is averaging nearly 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the 16 games since shifting there. He has four triple-doubles in that stretch. The Bucks have disappointed this season, but they have a bright future behind the Freak, Jabari Parker and a few other pieces. And should Milwaukee somehow win the draft lottery, look out! No TNT doubleheader this Thursday as that network is part of the NCAA Tournament coverage.
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Raptors at Pacers (TBA)
Toronto won in Milwaukee on Tuesday, 107-89. It was the second of a back-to-back, so DeMar DeRozan got the night off for rest -- his first game missed this season. Center Jonas Valanciunas also sat, but with a hand injury. That's not thought to be serious. Indiana beat visiting Boston 103-98 on Tuesday. A 15-4 run midway through the fourth quarter was the difference. Paul George had 25 points. The Pacers are one home win away from clinching a winning record on their home court for the 27th consecutive season. These teams have split two meetings. Indiana snapped a five-game losing streak to Toronto with a 106-90 win on Dec. 14.
Key trends: Toronto is 8-1 against the spread in the past nine meetings. The "over/under" is 5-1 in the previous six.
Early lean: Wait on Valanciunas, although I expect him to go.
Wizards at 76ers (TBA)
Washington hosted Chicago on Wednesday with Bradley Beal in question after just returning from injury. Philly lost a second in a row Tuesday, 131-114 in Brooklyn. The Sixers led once: 3-0. Isaiah Canaan led the 76ers with 20 points. They have lost 15 of 16. The Wizards are 3-0 vs. the 76ers this season, taking all by at least eight points.
Key trends: Washington is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 7-2 in Philly's past nine.
Early lean: Wizards can't play around in games like this as they battle for a playoff spot. They win, Beal or not.
Hornets at Heat (-4, 204.5)
Charlotte hosted Orlando on Wednesday. Miami beat Denver 124-119 on Monday. Rookie Justise Winslow led with 20 points, and Hassan Whiteside had 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Heat reached 100 points for the eighth consecutive game. Dwyane Wade now needs 24 points to reach 20,000 career. Final regular-season matchup with Miami leading 2-1. It has won 12 straight at home vs. the Hornets.
Key trends: The Heat have covered 14 of the past 21 meetings. The over is 7-0 in the past seven in Miami.
Early lean: Heat and over.
Nuggets at Hawks (-7, 208.5)
Atlanta was in Detroit on Wednesday. Denver lost a second straight Tuesday, 116-110 in Orlando. Coach Mike Malone benched starters Kenneth Faried and JaKarr Sampson for the final 18 minutes. Faried had gone 11-for-11 from the field the night before in Miami but got only 15 minutes vs. the Magic. Denver lost the first meeting by 14 at home and has dropped three in a row in Atlanta.
Key trends: Denver is 7-2 ATS in its past nine road games vs. teams with a winning home record. The over is 5-1 in Atlanta's past six in the second of a back-to-back.
Early lean: Nuggets and over.
Nets at Bulls (TBA)
Chicago was in D.C. on Wednesday potentially again without Derrick Rose and definitely sans Pau Gasol. Brooklyn avoided the embarrassment of losing the season series with the 76ers thanks to a 131-114 win on Tuesday to snap a four-game losing streak. Bojan Bogdanovic had a career-high 44 points. That's the most points by any Nets player since the franchise moved to Brooklyn. Chicago won in Brooklyn on the second night of the season but then lost at home to the Nets in December. Chicago has dropped two straight at home in the series.
Key trends: The Nets are 3-7 ATS in the past 10 meetings. The over is 12-3 in Brooklyn's past 15 on one day of rest.
Early lean: I could see a Nets upset here if Bulls are down Rose and Gasol. You might not see Jimmy Butler play the second of a back-to-back, either.
Grizzlies at Bucks (TBA)
Memphis hosted Minnesota on Wednesday with half the Grizzlies team out injured or questionable. Milwaukee's three-game winning streak ended in a 107-89 home loss to Toronto on Tuesday. Antetokounmpo had 18 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, just missing another triple-double. Forward John Henson returned after missing 20 games with a sore lower back but played only six minutes. Memphis won in Milwaukee 103-83 on Jan. 28, but the Grizzlies were pretty much whole then.
Key trends: The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 9-1 in the past 10.
Early lean: Bucks by double digits.
Trail Blazers at Spurs (-10.5, 207)
Your lone national TV game on NBA TV. Portland lost 128-94 in Oklahoma City on Monday. Damian Lillard had 21 points, but the Blazers shot a season-low 34.1 percent. San Antonio stayed unbeaten at home with a 108-87 win over the Clippers on Tuesday. The Spurs are actually ahead of the Warriors for one home record: longest streak to open a season. It was San Antonio's 33rd straight, and the NBA record is 37 by the Chicago Bulls in their 72-win season. Golden State is currently 31-0 at home. San Antonio has trailed for fewer than 10 minutes this season at home. Crazy. The Spurs are 2-0 this season against the Blazers and going for the first season sweep since the 2007-08 campaign. Portland is a solid 3-3 in its past six in San Antonio but lost there by 13 on Nov. 16. Both games between these clubs were very early in the season.
Key trends: The home team is 9-3 ATS in the past 12 meetings. The over is 5-1 in the past six.
Early lean: I'm taking Portland -- no way the Spurs aren't looking ahead to Saturday's mega-showdown at home with Golden State. Go over.
Suns at Jazz (TBA)
Phoenix ended a three-game winning streak with a 107-104 home win over Minnesota on Monday. Mirza Teletovic hit the winning 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left. P.J. Tucker led Phoenix with a career-high 23 points. Utah won a third straight Monday, 94-85 vs. Cleveland despite playing without leading scorer Gordon Hayward, who has plantar fasciitis in his right foot. That can take a while to recover from. Rodney Hood led Utah with 28 points. Reserve Joe Ingles started in Hayward's place. Utah leads the season series 2-0, holding Phoenix to exactly 89 points in each.
Key trends: The Suns are 1-6 ATS in the past seven in Utah. The under is 15-6 in the past 21 meetings.
Early lean: Wait on Hayward but go under regardless of number.
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