We’ve arrived at our first NBA Thursday of the season, and we have a couple of great primetime games on tap for the night. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Now here’s a prop I can get behind. Bogdanovic only grew in confidence from the arc in the playoffs last season with some tantalizing shooting nights, and for the regular season he averaged 3.3 threes per game on a superb 43.8% mark from downtown. He will now draw the porous defense of the offensive-minded Tim Hardaway Jr., putting him in a great spot here.
The Mavericks managed to get off to a good start in the Western Conference Semifinals last season because of their supreme shooting, not their defense. They posted a defensive rating above 115 in five of the seven games that were played, allowing some ridiculous shooting nights.
The bottom line is that the Mavericks aren’t going to be competing here on the back of their defense, and this particular matchup with a weak defender makes this a great spot to attack.
The Bucks’ defense was a little suspect in their big win over the Nets. Nicolas Claxton was allowed to go crazy inside with 12 points and seven boards, Patty Mills had 21 points in 29 minutes and the Nets as a team shot 53.1% from deep.
Milwaukee won this game strictly on the back of its depth, which shined through when Jordan Nwora had 15 off the bench and Grayson Allen chipped in 10 points. This was simply a terrible defensive night from the Nets, which allowed the Bucks the chance to let their offense get out in transition and run up the score.
We know the Heat are going to bring a ton of energy on defense, which could create a bit of a rock fight here. The addition of Kyle Lowry makes the Heat a huge threat to the Bucks, given the space Bam Adebayo will now have to operate. If Milwaukee thought it was tough to contain Claxton, it has another thing coming here.
The Clippers were not only the top three-point shooting team a season ago, they also ranked sixth in defending a three. This made for a great series against the Suns in last season’s playoffs, who had been able to out-shoot everyone en route to the Conference Finals.
Though L.A. fell short there, and still won’t have Kawhi Leonard, it has an even-more formidable roster entering the 2021-22 season with Eric Bledsoe returning to the team which drafted him and Justise Winslow adding perimeter defense. Bledsoe should create space for L.A.’s shooters and maintain this team’s prowess from beyond the arc.
I bring up three-point shooting because the Warriors took 41% of their shots from three on Opening Night, and conversely the Lakers took 42 threes against them, hitting just 35.7%. According to NBA.com, 37 of those threes were without a defender within four feet, pointing to good luck thanks to the Lakers’ collection of awful shooters.
The Clippers have much better shooting and will make Golden State pay if left open like that again.
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