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With the NBA Play-In Tournament in its final round, it's do-or-die for four teams trying to qualify for the NBA Playoffs. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat face off in the Eastern Conference's last Play-In game. While in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves take on the Oklahoma City Thunder!
Zach LaVine is coming off a massive scoring game, but his playmaking will be the focus against the Miami Heat. Bam Adebayo will look to bounce back from a poor scoring night when he faces the Chicago Bulls. Josh Giddey aims to build off his fantastic performance in his first game of the NBA-Play In Tournament. And when Rudy Gobert returns from suspension, he projects to put on a big night on the boards.
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Zach LaVine is coming from a fantastic performance to power the Chicago Bulls back from a 19-point deficit to help them progress to the second round of the NBA Play-In. Against the Heat's focused perimeter defense, LaVine will have plenty of opportunity to create. LaVine is a +104 to clear 4.5 assists at Caesars Sportsbook when he faces the Miami Heat.
On the season, LaVine averaged 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists on 48.5% shooting from the field and 37.5% from three. In his last game, a win over the Toronto Raptors, Lavine posted 39 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists on 54.5% from the field and 28.6% from three. When he's faced the Miami Heat this season, LaVine has averaged 19.5 points, 7.0 assists, and 5.0 rebounds on 56.0% from the field and 42.9% from three.
Through his last ten games, LaVine has collected five or more assists five times. In 77 regular season appearances, LaVine cleared 4.5 assists 35 times. After his offensive explosion last time out, the Heat are sure to key in on LaVine on the defensive end - the perfect situation for him to create for others and build on his solid regular season performances against them.
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Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo has been his team's foundation on defense, but his production on the offensive end needs to improve for them to progress to the NBA Playoffs. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Adebayo is a +100 to clear 19.5 points when he faces the Chicago Bulls. Against a team he's found offensive success against all season, Adebayo projects to return to his impressive form.
On the season, Adebayo is averaging 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on 54.0% from the field. In his last game, a loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Adebayo posted just 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks on 41.7% from the field. Adebayo will be encouraged against the Bulls, though, as he averaged 20.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 55.3% from the field through three regular season games.
Adebayo has scored 20 or more points in just three of his last ten games. In 75 regular season appearances, Adebayo has cleared 19.5 points 37 times. Despite losing their regular season series to the Bulls, Adebayo has cleared 19.5 points twice against them - in a do-or-die game, Adebayo's scoring aggression will be critical.
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Rarely a high-volume scorer, Giddey's production is encouraging when considering his regular-season success against Minnesota. Coming off of a substantial all-around performance in his first Play-In game against the Pelicans, Giddey will need to maintain his play to help the Thunder to the NBA Playoffs. At PointsBet, Giddey is a +105 to clear 28.5 points and assists combined when he faces the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On the season, Giddey is averaging 16.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on 48.2% from the field and 32.5% from three-point range. In four games against the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, Giddey averaged 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists on 47.1% from the field and 30.0% from three-point range. In his last game, a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Giddey posted 31 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds on 50.0% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range.
Giddey has cleared 28.5 points and assists twice in his last ten games. In 76 regular season appearances, Giddey cleared 28.5 points and assists 12 times. With the confidence of his previous performance and the return of a more traditional lineup with Rudy Gobert in play, Giddey should maintain the quality of his offensive production.
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Returning from suspension and ready to contribute to his team's potential last match, Rudy Gobert will have one game to save the Timberwolves' season. At Unibet Sportsbook, Gobert is a +105 to collect 13.5 rebounds or more when he faces the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite his recent behavioral issues, Gobert's presence will be a boon to Minnesota's chances at making the Western Conference Playoffs.
On the season, Gobert has posted averages of 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game on 65.9% from the field. Gobert posted 10.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game on 61.2% from the field in his last ten games of the regular season. In three games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Gobert has put up 14.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks on 74.1% from the field in just 22.7 minutes per game.
Clearing 13.5 rebounds in two of his three games against the Thunder, Gobert has shown dominance on the glass regardless of his playing time. Gobert has cleared 13.5 rebounds in five of his last ten games. Through 70 regular season appearances, Gobert collected 14 or more rebounds 23 times.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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