The Cavaliers are coming off a win over the Lakers on Thursday, and this is a great spot to catch Kevin Durant and the Thunder for a payday as the road dogs.
Throughout the course of an NBA season a few games pop up that scream for a play. Tonight is one of those cases as the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena.
Several factors make this a strong play on OKC and against Cleveland. The Cavs are coming off a nationally televised win over the Lakers on Thursday night giving them a season sweep of the defending champs. It had to be a draining game more so mentally than physically and I just don’t see the Cavs having that same mind sight against the Thunder.
Facts are facts and it’s impossible for any team to be “UP” for every game. In fact after the huge win over the Lakers, I will be shocked if LeBron James and company don’t come out very flat tonight.
Cleveland also has a major problem in the backcourt. The Cavs were able to beat the Lakers without the injured Mo Williams. Now they are down two guards with the loss of Delonte West to a broken ring finger on his left hand.
He’s definitely out for tonight’s game and falls into that ever popular category, "day-to-day."
Free NBA Pick: Thunder +8 (-110)
Daniel Gibson, the former USC star, will take over the point guard duties. Gibson’s minutes had been cut for what Coach Mike Brown called “shaky defense.” Despite his defensive limitations, Gibson leads the league in three-point accuracy (48 percent) and has averaged 5.6 points in 37 games off the bench.
Meanwhile Oklahoma City has become a factor in the tough Western Conference. With more than three months to play in the season, Kevin Durant and crew have already eclipsed last season’s win total.
The Thunder went 23-59 in their first season in Oklahoma City and 20-62 during Durant’s rookie season, and the clubs last as the Seattle Super Sonics.
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The Thunder are 24-18 heading into tonight’s tilt and have posted recent road victories in Atlanta and Minnesota and lost by just a point in Dallas. They’re now on ATS “road trip” streaks of 3-1, 7-2 and 14-7 ATS on the season. They are also 2-0 vs. the number on three days rest which will be the case this evening.
The individual matchup of Durant vs. James should be fun to watch. LJ is averaging 29.7 ppg while Durant is just a smidge behind at 29.2. The point guard matchup will be prove pivotal where the former UCLA Bruin, Russell Westbrook, will be matched up against Gibson.
This is a rock solid spot to play the Thunder. All the stars are lined up for what should be a beauty of a payday.