Top 5 Bold Predictions for Week 22 in the NBA - Thunder Massive Streak

Photo of the pickswise logo
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NBA

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Kind of like how the Masters doesn’t begin until the back nine on Sunday, the NBA season basically doesn’t begin until the playoffs (well, unless you’re the Lakers, in which case it both begins and ends much sooner than that). But a whole lot of headlines are currently being made even though the madness of March is generally reserved for college. Fights have broken out, fans are getting into it with both players and owners, and history has happened (LeBron James, even Lou Williams….). What headlines will the upcoming week make? Let’s dive into some bold predictions for week 22 in the NBA.

Kawhi Leonard will have at least one more “load management” game

The Raptors have already sat Kawhi Leonard from several games to manage his load, and more of the same will likely continue—probably at least once a week for the rest of the season, in fact. Toronto’s chances to earn the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs are all but gone. Leonard and company are 2.5 games behind Milwaukee, they just lost to Cleveland by 25 points, and Serge Ibaka is going to be suspended after fighting Marquese Chriss of the Cavaliers. With Toronto basically locked into the second spot, there is no reason to overwork Leonard.

Karl-Anthony Towns will slowly get shut down

With the Clippers on fire and both San Antonio and Utah also too far ahead—and too good—to pass, the Timberwolves are no longer in contention for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are 32-35 and 5.5 games behind the eighth-place Jazz. Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a knee injury last week and missed Sunday’s win over the Knicks. An MRI revealed nothing major and he is listed only as day-to-day, but Minnesota has no reason to do anything stupid with its star big man now that postseason hopes are gone. Expect him to start getting Anthony Davis treatment.

Chicago will lose its next four games

Don’t look now, but the Bulls are suddenly in contention for an all-important bottom-three spot in the standings. Following the Cavs’ rout of Toronto, Chicago is just 1.5 games “ahead” of Cleveland as the fourth-worst team in the association. Moreover, Zach LaVine is hurt and may be out for the season. The Bulls were already bad with LaVine. Now they are even worse—and have an even greater incentive to lose. No matter that the Lakers and Suns are upcoming on the schedule; this team will keep losing.

Russell Westbrook will lead OKC to five straight wins

Russell Westbrook is going to play some inspired basketball over the coming days. He got into an ugly shouting match with a Jazz fan during Oklahoma City’s win over Utah on Monday and may remain upset about it for a while. Moreover, the Thunder are locked in a battle for the No. 3 through No. 6 seeds in the Western Conference (they are currently fourth, one game behind Houston and a half-game ahead of Portland) and the benefits of finishing third are obvious. OKC has two tough tests coming up: at Indiana and home vs. Golden State. But both are winnable—especially if Westbrook is playing like a man possessed.

James Dolan won’t sell, but will un-ban fan

File this under the department of absolutely ridiculous: Knicks owner James Dolan got a fan banned from Madison Square Garden for yelling, “Sell the team!” Now there are reports that Dolan is actually fielding offers to buy the franchise from him, although those reports obviously got shut down by team and stadium management. The 63-year-old isn’t going to sell, and he’s certainly not going to sell right now when it would make him look especially soft. But Dolan will un-ban the fan; not because he is a decent person who has sense, but for public relations purposes.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply