NBA – Week 20 In Review

Ja Morant set the NBA world alight with a scintillating 52-point performance before LeBron James turned back the clock to score 56 points of his own in an exciting week of action.

Ja MVP

Last week we touched on DeMVP after he scored 35+ points in eight consecutive games – the first seven while shooting over 50%.

This week it’s Ja Morant. He put on a show to score 52 points on 22 for 30 shooting while dragging down seven rebounds and handing out two assists. And while the box score shows he played a good game, some of his plays need to be seen to be believed.

He first caught a body. Poor Jakob Poeltl stepped in front of Morant as he wound up from the three-point line. Despite Poeltl being 7-foot-1 and an able defender, the 6-foot-3 Morant went straight over the top of him to connect on a brutal posterizer that will live on in magazine pull-out posters for years to come.

Next, it was one of the best buzzer-beating shots of all time. Stephen Adams took the ball from the baseline with 0.4 seconds left in the first half and sent it to the other baseline with an epic quarterback-like pass. Catching the ball in mid-air and fading away to the corner behind the basket, Morant flicked the ball in the direction of the hoop – splash.

He could do no wrong that night and has done little wrong all season. With the Memphis Grizzlies now 44-21 for 2nd in the Western Conference, it’s time to consider Morant in the NBA’s Most Valuable Player market at $9.

Top 5 MVP Candidates

PLAYER PRICE
Joel Embiid $1.83
Nikola Jokic $3.75
Giannis Antetokounmpo $4.40
Ja Morant $9
DeMar DeRozan $13

 

Chicago Bulls: Bluffers?

The Chicago Bulls have impressed throughout the 2021-22 NBA season. DeMar DeRozan has exceeded every expectation put on him while his partnership with Zach LaVine in the backcourt is one of the most dangerous in the league. With most anticipating that the Bulls might challenge for a spot in the play-in tournament, to be 39-25 for 4th in the Eastern Conference is an impressive achievement.

Despite sitting towards the top of the conference and having spent time as the #1 seed, the Bulls are way down on the 6th line of betting to win the East at $17 and $26 to win the NBA championship. A lot of that comes down to how they perform against the teams around them in the standings.

They’ve…not been good.

It’s easy to get excited about the Bulls and what they might be able to achieve in the post-season. However, their regular-season form against the top teams in the NBA suggests we should proceed with caution when the playoffs tip-off.

Cam Johnson

With Devin Booker and Chris Paul both on the sidelines, the Phoenix Suns needed somebody to step up and pick up the slack.

Enter: Cam Johnson.

The 25-year-old exploded to lead the Suns to a 115-114 win over the New York Knicks. He capped off his impressive performance with the game-winner and became only the second player in NBA history to connect on 9+ three-pointers and the game-winner, joining Damian Lillard in 2019.

Head and shoulders above the rest at the moment, the Suns are $5 favourites to win the NBA championship ahead of the Golden State Warriors ($5.50), Brooklyn Nets ($7) and Milwaukee Bucks ($7.50).

LeBron Appreciation

It wasn’t meant to be this difficult for the Los Angeles Lakers.

It wasn’t meant to be necessary for a 37-year-old LeBron James to score 56 points for the Lakers to end a four-game losing streak.

But, here we are…

And there Russell Westbrook wants to go, apparently.

To the jubilation (and frustration) of Lakers fans, the point guard is said to be seeking a trade away from the franchise over the summer.

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