The Most Important Matchups and Best Bets for Tuesday’s NBA Slate
The NBA will have a quiet night on Tuesday, with just three games available on the docket. The action gets underway with the Clippers vs. the Hawks at 7:30 p.m. ET and wraps up with the Knicks vs. the Jazz are 9 p.m. ET.
With only six teams in action, we can zero in on one of the most interesting situations on the slate. The Clippers will be playing without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverley this evening, which leaves them without three of their usual starters. What will the look like with those guys out of the lineup?
Let’s dive in.
The Clippers have gotten off to a phenomenal start this season. They rank first in the league in offensive efficiency – they’re averaging 118.72 points per 100 possessions – and they rank third in Net Rating.
Of course, their dominance is based around their stud duo of Leonard and George. Both players have been outstanding on both ends of the court. The Clippers have increased their Net Rating by +22.9 points per 100 possessions with Leonard on the court and +14.8 points per 100 possessions with George on the floor. Leonard ranks in the 91st percentile for his impact on the offensive end, while George ranks in the 94th percentile for his impact on defense (per Cleaning the Glass). These two disappointed in the playoffs last season, but you couldn’t ask for a much better duo to build your team around.
Don’t sleep on Beverley’s importance to this team as well. He ranks second in Net Rating differential at +20.3 points per 100 possessions, which sandwiches him between Leonard and George. Overall, all three players rank in the 90th percentile for their Net Rating impact.
Unsurprisingly, the Clippers have absolutely mauled teams with all three on the floor at the same time. They’re outscoring their opponents by +19.1 points per 100 possessions, which makes them one of the best trios in the entire league. To put that in perspective, the Lakers’ trio of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Dennis Schroder owns a mark of +15.7, while the Bucks’ trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday owns a mark of +8.3.
Make no mistake about it – the Clippers are legit title contenders when at full strength.
That said, that’s not going to help them tonight vs. the Hawks. As good as the Clippers have been with those three players on the court this season, they’ve been nearly as bad with them off it. They’ve averaged just 98.9 points per 100 possessions while allowing 110.8. That’s over modest 90 minutes, but it’s still majorly concerning.
The Hawks are dealing with some injury issues of their own – Trae Young, Clint Capela, and Cam Reddish are questionable – but there is at least a shot that those guys will be in the lineup. If even one of Young or Capela is active, they should be able to roll this watered-down version of the Clippers.
We’ve seen some notable line movement for tonight’s contests.
The biggest line move involves the Clippers, but we’ve already addressed why that line has moved so much.
Instead, let’s focus on the game between the Wizards and Rockets. Houston has moved from -1.5 to -3.5, despite the fact that Christian Wood is doubtful to suit up. However, the Rockets have garnered 71% of the spread dollars on just 51% of the bets, so the sharps are clearly seeing something that they like.
One factor is that the Wizards are going to be extremely thin tonight. They will have Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook in the lineup – who are the two most notable members of the Wizards – but they still have six players out of the lineup due to health and safety protocols. That means a lot of guys that you’ve probably never heard of will be logging big minutes against a Rockets’ squad that is nearly at full strength.
BEST BETS FROM THE SPORTSGRID BETTING MODEL
Find out who our NBA betting model likes in all three of tonight’s contests.
PLAYER PROP BETS