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Keep an eye on some of the NBA's most exciting young players when the league puts on their 10-game Wednesday schedule.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's defense will be the topic of choice when his Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Atlanta Hawks. Markelle Fultz will look to maintain his scoring pace when his Orlando Magic face the Indiana Pacers. And Lauri Markkanen will hope he can maintain his sharpshooting when the Utah Jazz take on the Portland Trail Blazers.
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander matches up with some of the NBA's best guards and looks to continue his All-Star-worthy campaign. At WynnBet, Gilgeous-Alexander is a +110 to clear 2.0 steals when he takes on the Atlanta Hawks.
On the season, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 30.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game on 50.9% from the field and 35.5% from three. Over his last five games, he's averaged 28.6 points, 5.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 steals on 55.4% from the field and 35.7% from deep.
Gilgeous-Alexander has collected 10 steals over his last five games but has cleared 2.0 steals in two of them - while matching it in another one of those games. The Thunder guard has cleared 2.0 steals in 11 of his games and matched it in 12 of them. Expect another great defensive performance from Gilgeous-Alexander, against a team that relies heavily on its guard play.
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Markelle Fultz has returned this season and he's looked as much like the promising young player as he used to be before his key injury. At FanDuel Sportsbook, Fultz is a +100 to clear 12.5 points when he faces the Indiana Pacers.
On the season, Markelle Fultz is averaging 12.3 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds on 49.6% from the field and 37.1% from the three-point range. He's been a bit inconsistent over his last five games, averaging 13.6 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.8 rebounds on 52.0% from the field and 57.1% from three-point range.
Over his last five-game run, Fultz has cleared 12.5 points in two of his three games. He's also cleared 12.5 points in 11 of his 26 appearances this season. Against a Pacers team that is lacking their key defender at the point of attack, Tyrese Haliburton, expect Fultz to be productive in the scoring department.
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Lauri Markkenen looks to maintain his excellent three-point shooting in this matchup. At PointsBet, Markkanen is a +110 to clear 3.5 three-point field goals when he faces off against the Portland Trail Blazers.
On the season, Markkanen has been averaging 24.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.1 threes per game on 52.1% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range. Over his last three games since returning from injury, Markkanen has averaged 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.3 three per game on 54.0% from the field and 61.5% from deep.
It's hard to believe that Markkanen's shooting is sustainable, but against a traditionally lined-up Portland Trail Blazers team, he should have plenty of opportunities. He's cleared 3.5 threes in 15 of his 45 games this season, and projects to do the same against the Trail Blazers.
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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.
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