Kyrie Irving’s Return Has Ben Simmons, Royce O’Neale Trending

We’re a little over a month into the NBA season and there are some notable trends that we can already capitalize on.

In addition, there are numerous injuries to key players, including Ja Morant, Tyrese Maxey and Cade Cunningham. We discussed Cade in last week’s prognosis, but it’s certainly worth noting that he may need surgery.

Let’s dive into the ever-changing NBA landscape.

teams and players in mind

Schedule: Tues. vs. Nets | Marry. in hornets | at Magic | Sun. at magic

Editor’s note: According to multiple reports, Joel Embiid is expected to miss at least the next two games for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers received further bad news that rising star Tyrese Maxey is expected to miss the next three to four weeks due to a minor fracture in his left foot. With James Harden also on the mend over the next few weeks, the 76ers need some playmaking skills.

While De’Anthony Melton and Shake Milton should see a run — we’ll discuss them later — it’s time for Philadelphia’s MVP, Joel Embiid, to step up to the plate and lead this team.

The 76ers won’t have the usage rates of Maxey (32.8%) and Harden (27.4%), the second and third highest on the team, and while Embiid already has a meteoric usage rate (37.5%), I expect that they will increase their absence.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

He’s already averaging 32.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, but as of last season he should continue to excel at passing the ball. He’s averaged 6.4 assists in eight games over the past two seasons without Maxey and Harden, with six or more assists in six of those eight games.

Embiid’s prop lines against Minnesota were set at 33.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Those lines are high, and that was in a matchup against Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. If those lines remain static, there should be overs opportunities given the 76ers’ relatively soft schedule for front courts next week with games against the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic.

Embiid is currently as high as +1100 to win the MVP at BetMGM and I think it’s worth a shot. This is his moment without Harden and Maxey and the buy window is closing.

But back to the 76ers: The two most interesting players are De’Anthony Melton and Shake Milton. They will be targets for props, but also in your fantasy leagues.

Melton and Milton had their prop lines set at 14.5 and 15.5 points, 6.5 and 4.5 rebounds, and 5.5 and 5.5 assists, respectively. Both cleared their score lines, with Melton picking up 19 points, five boards and six dimes to Milton’s 27 points, six boards and two assists.

Both will have plenty of scoring chances and it’s worth noting that Melton shot 5 for 9 with 3 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. Melton makes 49% of his shots from beyond the arc and should have plenty of looks over the break on Tuesday against the Nets.

If his propline is back to 2.5 3s, it’s a firm bet.


Schedule: Tues. vs. Kings | Fr. against Pelicans | Sun. at Knicks

The Memphis Grizzlies will now be without both Desmond Bane (toe) and Ja Morant (ankle) for the next few weeks.

This will affect them dramatically overall: they are two of their highest usage players and two of their best as Bane has a +14.8 point differential and Morant has a +13.6 point differential this season. The compounded effect when out is significant as it forces the Grizzlies to utilize their relatively inexperienced depth, particularly in the backcourt.

The team is only +2.2 overall in the season, but if you remove either Bane or Morant the team drops to -5.1 and if both aren’t on the team it just can’t with a -8.8 difference Points score while it only scores 101.3 points per 100 possessions. per cleaning of the glass.

Having Jaren Jackson Jr. in the lineup helps, but he doesn’t dribble the ball to the floor. This creates a vacuum where Tyus Jones, Dillon Brooks, John Konchar, Jake LaRavia and David Roddy are asked to play more minutes. While Brooks is always up for the task, the others are generally suited to smaller bankrolls these days.

Konchar has the most to gain in this scenario, he’s seen his minutes without bane increase and he’s played over 30 minutes a game in the Grizzlies’ last four games. His proplines were set at 10.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 3-pointers. He just recorded 16/9/7 and shot 2-of-7 from deep against the nets. He is to be targeted in an expanded role.

As for the Grizzlies overall? I’m actively trying to bet against them and I’m very excited to see where they open the line against the Kings on Tuesday.


Schedule: Tues. at 76ers | Marry. at Raptors | Fri. at Pacers | Sun. against Trailblazer

Kyrie Irving has returned from suspension and the Nets’ rotations are back in the flow. An intriguing wrinkle is that Kevin Durant is actually scoring 3.0 points more per game With Irving as without him this season and averaging 31.8 in those games; However, he is seeing a drop in his rebounds and assists.

The big winner from a props perspective. is Royce O’Neale. We should expect its volume to increase, especially from long distances. Part of this is because Irving operates farther out on the perimeter in the pick-and-roll, and O’Neale is often on the weak side during that action.

As a result, Irving likes to allow the crosscourt pass to the weak side, and O’Neale is generally that target. Next to Durant, O’Neale is the second most common recipient of Irving’s passes – receiving 20.8% of Irving’s passes and shooting 47.1% of those passes.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Royce O’Neale #00 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.

His 3-prop was still set at 1.5, but with Irving he has averaged 2.7 3s on 6.1 attempts with at least two 3-pointers in eight of those nine games. Play this evenly as Juice moves forward, but if that line moves to 2.5, be wary he’s made three or more 3s in just four of those nine games with Irving.

The only other Nets player who’s been in form lately is Ben Simmons. Over the past week, he has averaged 16 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists compared to season averages of 7.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

With his scoreline of just 8.5 and his last-game PRA of 23.5, this could be a buying window for Simmons, especially in a revenge match in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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