Dallas Mavericks vs Philadelphia 76ers

Wednesday, 3/29 at 5:30pm MST on ESPN in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia 76ers (49-26; 3rd in the East) have taken chances to rest their stars recently as they prepare for what is to come in the postseason. Yes, they sit just two losses behind the Boston Celtics and three losses ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but with just seven games left, it is unlikely the 76ers would slide back to 4th in the East.

On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks (37-39; 11th in the West) need every last win they can grab regardless of the methods utilized to do so. They have fallen out of the play-in tournament and only have six games left to recover in time to give themselves a shot at the playoffs. Dallas sits just two losses behind the 6th-seeded Golden State Warriors so there is plenty of movement left for the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture.

Both James Harden and Embiid are entering the day listed as questionable two days after missing the 76ers matchup with the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. Embiid is said to be fighting right calf tightness which is what has him on the injury report. Harden has been struggling with soreness in his left achilles.

The Mavericks are mostly healthy. Maxi Kleber continues to fight with his right hamstring that has bothered him for the majority of this season. Kleber is questionable as of Wednesday morning as he works himself back from his right hamstring issues. Frank Ntilikina is also questionable with a right knee strain.

DraftKings Odds

  • The 76ers enter the day as favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook and are favored by four points despite Embiid and Harden being questionable.
  • The total points set by DraftKings Sportsbook is 231.5 which seems low considering the Mavericks are not even sure what the term ‘defense’ means in an NBA setting.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Phoenix Suns

Wednesday, 3/29 at 8pm MST on ESPN in Phoenix

Despite the recent success of the Minnesota Timberwolves (39-37; 7th in the West), all of the focus will actually be on Kevin Durant’s likely return to the court for the Phoenix Suns (40-35; 4th in the West) after missing the last 10 games with a left ankle sprain.

All eyes will be on how the Suns play together and if they can quickly evolve into the best version of themselves with just seven games left to play in the regular season. That is an unbelievably tall task for the Suns to complete, but Durant seems like a perfect fit for thing group. Now, everyone will see how it looks in the second leg of ESPN’s double header.

Minnesota has quietly come alive at the ideal time. Four games ago, they sat sliding between falling out of the play-in tournament and out of the play-in tournament entirely. Now, after a four-game winning streak they sit tied in the loss column with the Golden State Warriors who currently occupy the sixth seed and a guaranteed bid to the playoffs.

The list of injuries is long for the Timberwolves. Matt Ryan is out with an illness. Taurean Prince is also fighting an illness and is listed as questionable. Jaylen Lowell is questionable with left knee tendinopathy. Both Anthony Edwards (right ankle sprain) and Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) are listed as probable.

For the Suns, only Kevin Durant is on the injury report. He is questionable to play with his left ankle sprain he sustained in warmups quickly after being acquired by the Suns.

DraftKings Odds

  • The Suns, with Durant’s highly likely return, are favored by 5.5 points at home according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • The Timberwolves being +180 on the money line at DraftKings Sportsbook feels like great value.