Friday night’s NBA schedule on ESPN features the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Los Angeles Lakers. The early game on ESPN is also intriguing, as the Miami Heat visit the New Orleans Pelicans. Let’s look at both games and Friday Night ESPN NBA Picks.
Friday night’s NBA schedule on ESPN features one of the most anticipated games of the season, as the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Los Angeles Lakers. It is a potential NBA Finals preview, as the Bucks are running away with the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers have a big lead in the Western Conference. The early game on ESPN is also intriguing, as the Miami Heat visit the New Orleans Pelicans. Let’s look at both games and Friday night ESPN NBA picks.
Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans
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The early game on ESPN on Friday has the Heat visiting the
Pelicans. Miami is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, but they could be
a threat, as they are the only team in the NBA to beat Milwaukee twice this
season. Miami plays good defense and they have an offense that can be tough to
stop. The Heat have one of the top 3-point shooters in the league in Duncan
Robinson. He is third in the NBA in 3-pointers made this season and he leads
the league in 3-point shooting percentage.
“Everybody wants to contribute in a way,” Robinson said to the media, “Obviously,
the more tangible contribution is my shooting. But obviously, I would like to
think that I do more than just that. It’s good to have a stat that reflects
that. I think game-to-game plus/minus can be a little bit less indicative. But
the large sample size [means something], for sure. I didn’t know that I was
leading the team.” The Heat have the sixth-best offensive rating in the league
and Robinson is a big reason why.
Miami last played on Wednesday when they hosted Orlando. The Heat are averaging about 113 points per game and giving up 109 per contest. The Pelicans are playing their third game in four days. They hosted Minnesota on Tuesday, were at Dallas on Wednesday and had Thursday off. The Pelicans are averaging about 116 points per game and giving up 117 per contest.
The Heat have won six of the last ten in this series, with six of the ten going under. New Orleans has taken 7 of the last 10 at home, with six of the ten going over.
Heat vs. Pelicans Free Picks
I expect both teams to score a lot of points, as neither team is that great defensively, so I will take the game over the total.
Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers
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The Bucks have the best record in the league, while the
Lakers have the second-best record. This could be an NBA Finals preview, but
both teams have to get through a lot of tough teams in the playoffs. The Bucks
would have to win all of their remaining games to tie Golden State for most
regular season wins with 73 and that is not going to happen. Milwaukee could
finish with the best margin of victory in NBA history, as they are outscoring
teams by 12.2 points per game. They are right with the 1971-72 Lakers in terms
of margin for victory. “We’ve still got a lot more basketball to play,” guard
Wesley Matthews said. “And we know where we’re at and where we want to be. It’s
a pretty special thing to be where we’re at in the standings.”
The Bucks were home against Indiana on Wednesday and had Thursday off. Milwaukee is averaging 119 points per game and giving up about 107 per contest. The Lakers were home against Philadelphia on Tuesday and had Wednesday and Thursday off. The Lakers are averaging 114 points per game and giving up 107 per contest.
The Bucks have won seven of the last ten against the Lakers including the five. Milwaukee has also won the last three in Los Angeles.
Bucks vs. Lakers Free Picks
This should be a classic matchup as each team will want to prove they are the team to beat. I think it will go down to the wire, so I will take the points with Milwaukee.
Check out the latest NBA odds at the online sportsbook.