Had it not been for a blowout in Milwaukee, we might have been in for a big night.

Ja Morant and Jimmy Butler both hit their Overs, and my expectation was that Giannis Antetokounmpo would hit his Over, too. But the Bucks waxed the Trail Blazers, leading to the Greek Freak playing just 26 minutes. In that time, he scored 18 points with six assists and four rebounds — well short of his 46.5 prop.

But our process was good. We knew the Blazers were bad defensively, and we pinpointed this weakness as something Antetokounmpo could exploit. You can never truly bank on that big of a blowout, so I’ll take the “L” here knowing that our line of thinking was correct.

Anyway, we move on to fight another day. There are six games tonight, and here’s who we’re playing.

Nikola Vucevic
22.5 PTS vs. Toronto — UNDER (105 PTS)

A big man who plays almost entirely away from the basket in the midst of a slump? Yep, we’re smashing the Under without thinking twice.

By now, you should know where I stand when it comes to shooting slumps. Nikola Vucevic is certainly in the middle of one, going 9-for-31 (29 percent) in his last two games. He’s also only gotten to the free-throw line three times in that span. He’s only gotten to the line 1.6 times per game in January.

A center getting to the line less than twice per game? I want nothing to do with that.

Vucevic has big games, and he definitely shoots enough (20.2 shots per game this month), to hit the Over. But he’s looked terrible lately, and he’s going against a team with an athletic frontcourt that can guard him on the perimeter.

Another consideration: Vucevic scored just 15 points on 5 of 18 shooting against Toronto on Sunday.

Kawhi Leonard
31.5 PTS + REBS @ Brooklyn — OVER (100 PTS)

This is less about Kawhi Leonard and more about the Nets. Brooklyn is literally on pace to be the worst defense of all time. The Nets play the basketball equivalent of a home run derby every single game, hoping to just smash one more bomb over the fence to outlast the competition.

Leonard is a capable scorer, and the Nets have looked abysmal on the defensive end ever since they acquired James Harden (which is more about the players and depth dealt than it is about Harden, but that’s another story).

In his two games back from a COVID-related hiatus, Leonard has averaged 26 points and four rebounds per game. With the pace and style with which the Nets play, this should be an easy prop for him to beat.

Go Over.

Kemba Walker
17.5 PTS @ Golden State — OVER (110 PTS)

To say Kemba Walker had a rough night Saturday would be an understatement. He was 1 of 12 from the floor, finishing with four points in a 96-95 loss to the Lakers. On to the next one.

Walker gets a much softer matchup Tuesday in Golden State, a team tied for second in the league in pace (105.9 possessions per game). Walker’s already getting a ton of opportunities for the Celtics, and a game at this pace will only open the door for more looks.

I know we don’t like playing guys in slumps, but this is likely just a one-off for Walker, a player who is certainly a volume scorer but should live in the low-40s when it comes to shooting percentage.

Given him 12-plus shots against Golden State with a few trips to the line, and he’ll hit the Over.

For more sports opinions and other rants about things you probably don’t care about, follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter.

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