Boys and girls, we’re back.
The NBA returned from its All-Star break last night with a two-game slate, but the action is back in full swing tonight with 11 games planned. It’s a dense schedule with a ton of great options, so let’s just hop right into it.
11.5 REBS @ Milwaukee — OVER (115 PTS)
Always. Play. The. Upside.
Few players in the league have been as explosive and reliable as Julius Randle, and although that’s a sentence that you might not have uttered just a season ago, it is reality now. Randle has been a force in nearly all facets, and he’s proven (or maybe reinforced) the fact that he’s a weapon on the glass.
He played Milwaukee on Dec. 27 and hauled in 14 boards, and since has tallied 11.1 rebounds per game. He averaged 11.4 boards per game in January, showing that he’s capable of prolonged stretches of dominance.
A player his size probably shouldn’t rebound as well as he does when matched against larger players, but he uses the size he does have quite well. Don’t think twice; lock in this Over and earn big points.
35.5 PTS + REBS + ASTS vs. Orlando — OVER (105 PTS)
Jimmy Butler was on a tear in the final three games before the All-Star break, exceeding 35.5 PTS + REBS + ASTS in each game. In total, he averaged 29.7 points, seven rebounds and and nine assists per game during that stretch.
Having a week away from the game could have cooled Butler off, but it also could have rejuvenated him — so I won’t use that break when making my decision.
Orlando’s defense is vulnerable, and Butler played three of his best games of the season before the break. I’m banking on him keeping it up.
Play the Over.
26.5 PTS vs. Golden State — OVER (110 PTS)
Kawhi Leonard has played two games against the Warriors this season, scoring 21 and 24 points, respectively. In those games, he took 12 and 17 shots, respectively, both of which are under his season average of 18.7. Given his regular diet of opportunities, Leonard can easily achieve at least 27 points.
He’s also coming off a stellar month of February in which he dropped 28 points per game and didn’t score fewer than 17 points (and that was in a blowout loss). As we’ve said here in the past, teams will occasionally have to score to keep up with Stephen Curry, and Leonard is capable of helping the Clippers keep pace.
Leonard isn’t the guy who will often go for 40 points, but he’s consistently between 20 and 30. I’ll take the higher end of that tonight.
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