Wagers on season win totals still undecided for four teams heading into final night of NBA season

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In case you needed yet another reminder of just how prescient the guys in Las Vegas are when it comes to setting lines on sporting events, we bring you the tale of some wagers made as far back as October remaining undecided heading into the final night of the NBA’s regular season.

Sports books set a predicted total number of games they believe each team will win before the season starts, with the goal being to set a line that gets as close to an equal amount of action on both sides of that number.

And almost six months later, after all of the injuries, trades and free agent signings, that number is still in play for four of the league’s teams with just a single game left on the schedule.

From David Purdum of Sporting News:

While there’s little intrigue left with the Suns or Knicks, there will be plenty of bettors sweating out season-win total wagers on Wednesday night. Depending on the number bet, deciding games for season-win totals on the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, and Utah Jazz are in play.

— The Timberwolves (40-41) host the Jazz (24-57). The winner will go OVER their season win total. The loser stays UNDER, based on the LVH’s mid-October numbers.

— The Magic (23-58) host Indiana, needing a win over the motivation-less Pacers to go over their season-win total of 23.5.

— The Rockets (54-27) are at the New Orleans Pelicans and need a win to forge a push on their 55 season-win projection. Unfortunately for those who bet OVER, Houston is locked into the West’s No. 4 seed, as it owns the tiebreaker over the fifth-seeded Trail Blazers, and will likely rest some players.

The numbers used for this exercise were the ones posted by the Las Vegas Hilton before the season began, and it’s fairly remarkable that they nailed so many of them essentially exactly.

Then again, we know these guys are smart. After all, it’s not their money being used to build all of those spectacular hotels and casinos in the middle of the desert — it’s yours.

Gordon Hayward’s agent says return this season unlikely

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Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.

There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.

Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.

Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.

The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.

Trail Blazers beat Suns by 48, biggest season-opening rout in NBA history

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Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.

More than fine.

Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.

Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):

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The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.

Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova scrap (video)

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Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.

Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.

Report: ‘Tremendous concern’ for Jeremy Lin’s knee injury

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The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?

Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:

If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.

The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.

It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.