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Bradley Beal can’t wait to prove ‘what the hype is about’ with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant

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Believe it or not, it’s already been a month into the 2023/24 NBA season and the Suns haven’t been able to try out their highly-awaited Big 3. Bradley Beal is still enduring a back injury and hasn’t played alongside Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

When the former Wizards star got to play, Devin was hurt, and as he returned, Bradley started having back problems again.

“Not having our ‘Big 3’ to start the [season] is very tough,” Beal said recently. “Everybody has their own expectations of what we can be and we have ours as well. We all pride ourselves on taking care of our bodies and being available. Devin and I, we haven’t even gotten the good end of the stick.”

The 30-year-old is expected to miss out at least for three more weeks will he recovers from his “low back strain.” He’s wasn’t available during the first seven matches of the campaign, then played three in a row, only to fall to injury again.

Phoenix signed Beal from Washington this past summer after he had agreed to a five-year, $251 million contract with the Wizards the year before. This is why the Florida product will be making $46.7 million just this season.

“It’s a fine line as a fan of the game. Like 100 percent, you want to see Phoenix healthy,” wrote the veteran guard. “You want to see those guys out there competing. And you want to see what the hype is about. But internally, we have a totally different mindset. We’re not really worried about what people’s viewpoint of us is. But we also do know what we’re capable of and what we can be when we’re all healthy as well, too.”

Bradley is currently averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Suns this tournament while shooting 39.1% from the floor, 33.3% from range and 68.8% from the foul line. The Arizona franchise is 1-2 with Beal as a starter.

Beal’s injury will be re-evaluated in three weeks and has been carrying this pain ever since the team’s training camp

The superstar’s low back strain seems more serious than it really is, as Phoenix‘s medical staff aren’t convinced he’ll be back and healthy in three weeks. This is why they rather re-evaluate him when the time comes and consider what is best for him and the team.

“The Phoenix Suns today announced that guard Bradley Beal will be out and re-evaluated in three weeks as he continues to rehab a low back strain. This timeline was determined following further evaluation and consultation on his injury,” the announcement read.

Shams Charania of The Athletic also reported at the start of the week about Beal’s situation, explaining how he first starting hurting at the start of training camp. “I’m told he’s been dealing with a disc issue in his back. He’s been gutting through it, he suffered it in training camp and even at some points he’s dealt with nerve irritation going down his legs to his back,” he informed.

“He tweaked it in training camp, he’s been dealing with it. They’ve had multiple MRI’s, multiple exams and there’s been nothing structurally wrong. There’s been no major issue, but this is a back – and anytime you have a back issue you deal with discomfort, you deal with tightness on a day-to-day basis,” the insider said.





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Moses Moody reflects on high school poem to portray black man struggles

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Back when Moses Moody was in his senior year at Montverde Academy, he wrote a powerful poem called “He Beat the Streets,” which is still relevant to this day. This is why the Warriors player recently reflected on the words he wrote back in high school, as he personalized the struggle of the black community in the United States.

With the hopes to empower the next generation to strive for prosperity, the 21-year-old hopes his story will continue to inspire. Ever since he was young, Moses was a basketball star that averaged 11.6 points in Florida, and heavily contributed to his school’s 25-0 undefeated record in his final regular-season campaign.

However, off the court he was just another black teenager trying to build a future for himself and his family. One of his biggest inspirations was his uncle, who spent 18 years in jail. “All because he had this undone infatuation with pride, he had to put that pride to the side to spend cold nights with straight killers,” Moody shared.

The athlete took inspirations from his uncle’s testimony to explain how it has become far too often to witness good kids suffering from lack of resources, which only leads to imprisonment at a young age. Moses explained how around him, too many teenagers had the odds stacked against them.

“When he was inside, I’m sure he had dreams and aspirations to change his situation, maybe even further his education,” shared the Warriors forward. “They want to learn and be something and that fire’s taken away at a young age.”

The third-year NBA player laments the fact that the young black community depends on sports and music to overcome systematic racism. “I’m sorry to say I’m starting to believe the only way to make it out the struggle is put a ball in the hoop or rap, it’s so hard to make it out,” he said.

“I’m tired of seeing 5-0 who murdered another unarmed black male, but I guess we’re always armed because in their eyes, pigment is equivalent to a pistol,” Moody explained.

The Golden State athlete is convinced that the media is part of the root problem which avoids his community to thrive

Moses has lived the systematic troubles in society that keeps the black community from overcoming itself ever since he was young, but now that he’s part of a successful industry, he can see things even more clearly. The 21-year-old believes that the media is great part of this problem.

“Cinematography is used to paint my people in a bad light,” the young player explained. “Are you willing to learn this lesson, or are you distracted with my complexion?”

Moody is well aware of the amount of black men and women who’ve obtained success worldwide, including himself. As he’s averaging career-highs in points and minutes played this campaign, he hopes to continue to inspire younger generations to achieve the same.

“An impoverished black male making his way out of the streets is the equivalent to a flower blooming through the concrete,” he expressed. “To be where you are, wherever you are is something to be proud of. To just keep going shows that you are a flower that goes through the concrete.”





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LeBron James has 668 30-point games, 2nd most in NBA history

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has recorded 668 30-point games across his 21-year playing career, the second most in NBA history, according to the Basketball-Reference database.

This includes both playoff and regular-season games. Only Michael Jordan (671) retired with more 30-point games. Jordan accomplished this feat in just 15 seasons.

James leads Wilt Chamberlain (557), Kobe Bryant (519), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (504), Karl Malone (489), Kevin Durant (456), Jerry West (424), Oscar Robertson (410), and Elgin Baylor (403).

Among active players, James leads Kevin Durant (456), James Harden (365), Stephen Curry (343), Giannis Antetokounmpo (277), Damian Lillard (267), Russell Westbrook (256), Anthony Davis (220), Joel Embiid (204), DeMar DeRozan (201), Devin Booker (199), and Luka Doncic (188).

James’ 668th career 30-point game is arguably his most impressive. It was earned Wednesday night.

At 39 years old, he scored 34 points and helped the Lakers overcome a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 116-112 against the Los Angeles Clippers. The 20-time All-Star scored 19 of his 34 points in the final frame.

Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James hit a season-high seven 3-pointers vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers led 98-77 in the opening minute of the final period. James hit five of his season-high seven 3-pointers while outscoring the Clippers by himself 19-16 in the fourth. He either scored or assisted on 11 of the Lakers’ 13 baskets in the last quarter.

“It’s just a feeling when you feel like everything you put up is going in,” James said. “I just kept it consistent. I wasn’t taking ill-advised shots. And I stayed in the course of the offense. My teammates did a great job of continuing to find me, and I just tried to dictate the tempo, dictate the game. … It’s just a zone. Can’t really describe it. Wish you could stay in it forever.”

Before Wednesday’s game, NBA teams had lost 866 straight games when entering the fourth quarter trailing by at least 19 points.

Through 52 games (all starts) this season, James is averaging 25.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 35 minutes per contest. Plus, he is shooting 52.6% from the field, a career-best 40.8% from 3-point range, and 73.6% at the foul line.

The four-time MVP has notched 30 or more points in 14 games this season. In his 21st season, he has also logged 17 double-doubles and three triple-doubles. James put a season-high 40 points at Oklahoma City on Dec. 23.

James is the only NBA player to have a 40-point game and a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams. He is just 40 points away from becoming the first player to reach 40,000 career points as well.





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Heat vs Nuggets Odds, Picks, & Predictions (Feb. 29)

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Tonight, the Denver Nuggets (40-19, 26-31-2 ATS) host the Miami Heat (33-25, 29-28-1 ATS) in the first meeting of the 2023-24 NBA season; preview, odds, picks, predictions, and injuries for the Heat vs Nuggets matchup are here. Sportsbooks show Denver as a 4.5-point favorite at home. BetOnline odds are below.

Heat vs. Nuggets Game Preview

  • 🏀 2023-24 NBA Regular Season Matchup: Miami Heat @ Denver Nuggets
  • 📅 2023-24 NBA Regular Season Game Date: Thursday, February 29, 2024
  • 🕙 What time is Heat vs. Nuggets Game: 10 p.m. ET
  • 🏟 Where is Heat vs. Nuggets Game: Ball Arena | Denver, Colorado
  • 📺 TV Channel(s): TNT
  • 💻 Free 2023-24 NBA Season Game Live Stream: Jazz Sports
  • 🎲 2023-24 NBA Season Game Odds: Heat +4.5 (-110) | Nuggets -4.5 (-110)

Heat vs. Nuggets Odds

Heat vs. Nuggets Predictions

Miami is aiming to keep its six-game road win streak alive when the Heat face Denver. The Heat have gone 18-12 away from home this season. Bam Adebayo is averaging 20.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game with Miami.

The Heat are 8-2 in their last 10 games, averaging 111.3 points, 44.8 rebounds, 26.6 assists, 8.1 steals, and 3.4 blocks per game while shooting 47.8% from the field.

Miami ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets are 23-5 at home and remain just two games back for the top spot in the Western Conference. Nikola Jokic is averaging 25.9 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 9.3 assists for Denver.

Denver is 7-3 in its past 10 contests, averaging 113.8 points, 46.1 rebounds, 31.3 assists, 7.6 steals, and 5.8 blocks per game while shooting 48.8% from the floor.

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Nuggets hold a 62.5% chance of defeating Miami. The reigning champs will have a better time against the Heat if Jamal Murray (possible rest) plays. If not, an upset could be in the cards.

Miami is one of the hottest road teams in the league right now.

Heat vs. Nuggets Injuries

Miami Heat Injury Report

PF Kevin Love (heel; downgraded to out) | SG Josh Richardson (shoulder; out indefinitely) | C Thomas Bryant (out; suspension) | SG Tyler Herro (knee; questionable) | SG Dru Smith (knee; out for the season) | PF Orlando Robinson (back; upgraded to probable)

Denver Nuggets Injury Report

PG Jamal Murray (possible rest; questionable) | SF Vlatko Cancar (knee; out indefinitely) | SF Julian Strawther (injured head; questionable)

2023-24 NBA Betting Trends

  • The Heat are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games.
  • Miami is 5-0 SU in its past five contests.
  • The Heat are 1-10 against Denver in their previous 11 matchups.
  • As for the Nuggets, they’re 9-1 in their last 10 home games.
  • Denver is 5-1 at home versus Miami in its past six meetings inside Ball Arena.
  • Lastly, the total has gone under in 13 of the Nuggets’ previous 17 contests.

Projected Miami Heat Starting Lineup

PG Tyler Herro | SG Terry Rozier | PF Duncan Robinson | SF Jimmy Butler | C Bam Adebayo

Projected Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup

PG Jamal Murray | SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | PF Aaron Gordon | SF Michael Porter Jr. | C Nikola Jokic

Free NBA Expert Picks

Through 58 games, the Heat are 23-9 as favorites, 10-16 as underdogs, 17-12-1 ATS away, and 9-21 over/under away. The Nuggets are 37-13 as favorites, 3-6 as underdogs, 14-13-1 ATS at home, and 11-17 over/under at home. As stated above, Denver is 5-1 in its last six home matchups with Miami.

Our betting experts here at Basketball Insiders are projecting the Nuggets will win, the Heat will cover the spread, and the point total will go over 213.5. Since both contenders’ point total has gone under in recent games, this meeting could be the one exception. Miami and Denver can score a lot of points.

Pick the Nuggets to win! The Heat’s 1-10 record against the Nuggets in their past 11 meetings is shocking. However, Miami has covered the spread in their last five games played this month. If you are new to sports betting, check out our handicap betting guide.

More NBA picks and predictions are on the main page.



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