The LA Lakers are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, so is there any way that Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook doesn't have a huge night Tuesday? Here are my NBA player prop recommendations on the evening.
Lakers vs. Thunder NBA Picks:
Westbrook 'Over/Under' 31.5 points Or 'Over/Under' 20.5 Rebounds + Assists
Westbrook originally was credited with his 10th triple-double of the season and second straight in Sunday's win over the visiting Miami Heat, but on Monday the NBA said Westbrook shouldn't have been given credit for one rebound and that cost him the triple-double. Perhaps that will motivate the MVP candidate against the sorry Lakers. Seriously, who on the Lakers can guard him? Jeremy Lin? Jordan Clarkson? Don't make me laugh. Westbrook will continue to have to be superman because not only do the Thunder remain without Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka but they also now will be without starting shooting guard Andre Roberson for 2-3 weeks, although he doesn't really do much statistically. Westbrook has faced the Lakers once this season, on Dec. 19 in L.A., and he had 31 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.
NBA Free Pick: Go 'over' on both NBA odds for these props. I see something like 33 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The only concern is the Lakers are so bad that Westbrook is pulled early because the Thunder have to face San Antonio on Wednesday.
Spurs vs. Mavericks NBA Picks:
Monta Ellis 'Over/Under' 20.5 Points
Dirk Nowitzki 'Over/Under 22.5 Points + Rebounds Or 1.5 Made 3-Pointers
Dallas is on a two-game losing streak heading into Tuesday's home game with San Antonio. And if you want two guys to blame for that skid, look to Ellis and Nowitzki. On Friday against Memphis, Ellis was just 3-for-9 from the field for 12 points and then in Sunday's defeat at Phoenix he had one of the worst shooting games of his career, hitting just 4-for-22 for 11 points. Over the last 10 games, Ellis is hitting on just 38.2 percent of his shots for 16.8 points per game. Nowitzki is a lock first-ballot Hall of Famer but he's starting to show his age (37 in June). The German has totaled just 27 points and two 3-pointers in the past two games. Dirk is averaging 15.1 points in the past 10 and is making only 1.4 3-pointers per game this season. In two games against the Spurs this season, Ellis is averaging 32.0 points per game. Nowitzki is averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and hasn't made a 3-pointer.
NBA Free Picks: 'Over' on Ellis but 'under' on both of Dirk's. Nowitzki missed the team's shootaround on Tuesday after his wife gave birth to the couple's son Monday, but he is expected to play (rather sleep-deprived, I'm sure!).
Warriors vs. Blazers NBA Picks:
Steph Curry 'Over/Under 23.5 Points Or 3.5 Made 3-Pointers
Will Curry Miss a Free Throw: Yes +180, No -260
It's the second of a back-to-back for Golden State on Tuesday in Portland, although the Warriors catch a break in that Blazers starters LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum are expected to sit due to injury. Curry only had to play 28 minutes Monday night at home in a 107-76 win over Washington, a game that was close until the Wizards had one field goal in the third quarter and were outscored 29-8. Thus Curry shouldn't be too gassed. He had 24 points, was 5-for-8 from long range and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. Before placing your NBA picks, understand that he leads the NBA in free-throw percentage at .913 and hasn't missed one since March 9. Curry also leads the NBA in 3.4 made 3-pointers per game. In three games against Dallas this season, Curry is averaging 34.0 points and 6.0 made 3-pointers per game. That's skewed somewhat by his 51-point night on Feb. 4 when he hit 10-for-16 from long range.
NBA Free Picks: Go 'over' the two top props, but Curry finally misses a free throw.
Heat vs. Bucks NBA Picks:
Dwyane Wade 'Over/Under' 27.5 Points + Assists
Wade's Heat are in Milwaukee on Tuesday and the Bucks are a very good defensive team who have some athletes (Greek Freak, Michael Carter-Williams) who they can stick on Wade to slow him down. I also expect Milwaukee to play with desperation on a six-game losing streak. Wade is having a fine month, averaging 25.4 points and 5.0 assists. You always worry about him leaving a game early because Wade is a bit brittle at this point in his career. In two games against the Bucks in 2014-15, Wade is averaging 20.0 points and 6.0 assists.
NBA Free Pick: 'Under.'