Not every TNT double header will show the higher levels of both conferences. But more often than not, games will see two teams participating in similar locations, two teams trying to figure out who they are or to reach a different level in their play. Tonight, the East features the Brooklyn Bulls to face the net. Chicago have looked good on quality wins against the Celtics and the Heat, but recent losses to Cleveland and San Antonio show how inconsistent they are. The Lonzo Ball is still close to a comeback, with Zach LaVine rounding off his formation, but DeMar DeRozan is still a rock, averaging 26 points on 53-33-89 splits. The boys at Barclays may have an existential crisis. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were great early in the regular season, but their defense was the last time in the league and the return of Seth Curry and Joe Harris wouldn’t help that. They’ll come out straight with a tough win over the Pacers on Monday night, so fatigue could play a role in the Bulls’ standoff.
In the west, the once arrogant Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Phoenix Suns. At first glance, a team with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the front court and Anthony Edwards and rock-handling D’Angelo Russell should have qualified on both sides of the floor. 3-4 start indicating their problems. For many of the young and veteran talents on their roster, they are a mid-level offensive team that has relied on their top 10 defense to win matches against relatively weak opponents. On the other hand, Sun was the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. They reclaimed their dominance from last year with Chris Paul guarding the point guard and Devin Booker as the designated scorer at Valley of the Sun. DeAndre Ayton would come out with his twisted ankle, but Monty Williams used a revolving door for centers that include Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale to connect the middle.
Tonight could feature three of the 30-plus scorers on national television. The Nets are just one point favorite that hosts the Bulls and the Timberwolves are 3.5-point dogs in the desert, but if you really want to make the double header interesting, how about a triple play on top scorers in the league?
Kevin Durant (32.6 points per game), Kyrie Irving (30.1) and Devin Booker (29.3) are out games and everyone can beat their numbers tonight in front of the TNT crowd. Here are the plus/low points for them tonight: KD (30.5 points, O-110, U-120), Kyrie (27.5 points, O-105, U-120), and Book (28.5, O-105, U- 120)).
A single bet of $100 on both Kyrie and Book would pay $195.23 each, but two-choice play on both scores would pay $381.17 at +281. For what it’s worth, Booker has scored over 30 in four of his last five games, and Irving has, despite the cloud of controversy over him, in three of his last five games with 28 against the Pacers on Halloween.
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