NBA Tuesday Big Games
In the two nationally televised games tonight the Bulls host the Celtics and the Suns host the Nuggets and each game has playoff implications.
Boston Celtics (50-30) at Chicago Bulls (39-41)
At time of writing there is no line posted for this game, but check Bovada, as they always have the earliest lines available.
The Bulls are tied with the Toronto Raptors for the eighth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors are idle tonight and if the Bulls lose the two teams will be tied with only one game remaining. That is good for the Raptors, as they hold the tiebreaker over the Bulls.
The Celtics will be the fourth seed in the East and host either the Miami Heat or Milwaukee Bucks in a first round playoff series.
The Celtics are coming off a win and are 5-5 in their last 10 games and the Bulls are also coming off a win and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
This season the Bulls are 23-17 at home and 40-38-2 ATS and the Celtics are 26-14 on the road and 32-46-2 ATS.
In their last games Chicago beat the Toronto Raptors 104-88 on Sunday and the Boston beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-90.
This game is meaningless for the Celtics, in terms of playoff standings, so head coach Doc Rivers may rest some of his big guns. He rested Kevin Garnett (14.4 ppg) in Boston’s last game and KG missed the last game against the Bulls. However, in his career with Boston KG has yet to lose to the Bulls (8-0).
Even though the Bulls are pretty thin inside they have a better rebounding team. Bulls’ C Joakim Noah (10.6 ppg 10.9 rpg) had 18 points and 19 boards in Chicago’s last game and if he can control the glass tonight the Bulls will be in good shape.
Neither team can light up the scoreboard, so the team that plays solid defense has the advantage tonight.
Boston is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a win and Chicago is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games against teams with a winning road record.
Denver Nuggets (53-28) at Phoenix Suns (52-28)
Bovada has the Suns as 6-point favorites in this game with a total of 216.
Phoenix is tied with Utah for the fourth spot in the Western Conference only trailing Denver by .5 games. This game is important for both teams, as the loser may miss out on hosting a first round playoff series. Tonight’s game in the last one for the Nuggets, so if they win they will be at home for the first round of the playoffs, which is huge for them since they are under .500 on the road this season.
This season the Suns are 31-9 at home and 45-34-1 ATS and the Nuggets are 19-21 on the road and 33-42-5 ATS.
The Suns are coming off a win and are 8-2 in their last 10 games and the Nuggets are also coming off a win and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
In their last games the Nuggets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 123-101 yesterday and the Suns beat the L.A. Clippers 116-106 on Sunday.
The Nuggets have lost 10 straight games to the Suns in Phoenix and the Suns have won seven straight at home overall.
Don’t look for a low scoring affair tonight, as each team ranks in the top three in the league in scoring and neither team is very good on defense.
The Suns have won 12 of their last 14 home games with an average margin of victory just under 18 points per game.
Luckily the Nuggets recently got back Kenyon Martin (11.7 ppg 9.6 rpg), as they will need him to play good defense against reigning Western Conference Player of the Month Amare Stoudemire, who has averaged 29.3 ppg and 9.6 rpg during the Suns' home winning streak.
Chauncey Billups (19.7 ppg) has to score tonight and keep Suns’ PG Steve Nash (16.6 ppg 11 assists per game) from having a big scoring night and penetrating and dishing out to the open shooters.
Denver is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 road games and Phoenix is 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.