Now that the NBA’s trading deadline is past, attention can turn to the race for the play-offs. By recent standards, Thursday was a quiet day for moves - despite the usual feverish speculation, only JJ Redick’s switch from Orlando to Milwaukee truly caught the eye.
But Oklahoma City may have plugged a small gap in their armoury when they landed Ronnie Brewer from New York, adding a defensive stopper to their bench in a low-risk trade that might give them some valuable extra help in the post-season.
Brewer’s in line for a debut on Friday when the Thunder host Minnesota, looking to break out of an uncharacteristic slump that has seen them drop three games in which they’ve given up an average of 114 points. They allowed former star James Harden to score 46 in a loss to Houston on Wednesday, and for the first time there is a question mark over their status as 2.00 favourites for the Western Conference title.
Injury-plagued Minnesota are just 10-21 against teams with winning records but they’re a side which doesn’t lose big very often. So don’t look past the Timberwolves on a handicap of +13 at 1.91, even if OKC should win out.
The largest amount of trade talk surrounded Boston but despite hints that they might be ready to dispose of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics' Big Two remain intact and in green for tonight’s trip to Phoenix. The Celtics did add Jordan Crawford - who will supply much-needed offensive help in their backcourt - and should pose problems for the Suns who are +1 on the handicap here.
There’ll also be the rare sight of twins in tandem after Phoenix acquired Marcus Morris to join his brother, Markieff. But their reunion won’t do much to help a team which has lost five of their last six.
Bet of the day: Take Boston on the handicap over Phoenix