Cavaliers +9.5 vs. Warriors for NBA Picks

Joe Catalano

Friday, March 14, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 14, 2014 2:47 PM GMT

The Cleveland Cavaliers (25-40) are coming off of a huge upset over the Phoenix Suns to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, but now they must face Stephen Curry, David Lee, and the formidable Golden State Warriors (41-25). Does Cleveland have any chance in this lopsided matchup?

Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 pm ET at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

According to Bet 365 Sportsbook, the Warriors are a 9.5 point favorite and the total for the game is 201.

[gameodds]5/258533/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Transitional Period For Luol Deng

The Cavs are coming off of a win over Phoenix in which Luol Deng was a huge contributor. Deng has been inconsistent since joining Cleveland from his comfort zone in Chicago. If the Cavaliers can get Deng to be the player that he used to be, they would give teams like Golden State a run for their money.

Deng started off the 2013-2014 season on a high, averaging 19 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Chicago management thought the best time to get rid of him is when his value was at an all-time high. Since joining the Cavaliers, Deng hasn’t been the same player, averaging a career low 14.5 points per game.

Injury Watch On Hawes

Center, Spencer Hawes, has found a real home in Cleveland since leaving the lowly Philadelphia 76’ers. He’s been on a tear as of late ,averaging 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in his last 10 games. This is a center with major skill that can shoot the 3-ball efficiently.

Hawes rolled his ankle on Wednesday against the Suns and is likely to play tonight. Cleveland really needs his presence dealing with the likes of David Lee in the paint. Keep an eye on the injury report at rotoworld.com, but expect Hawes to suit up for this game. Cleveland is 4 games behind Atlanta for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and every game is do or die until the end of the regular season.

Take a look at the top NBA Futures Betting Odds

The Sky is the Limit

The Warriors might be missing a few integral pieces to be considered championship material, but this team is slowly getting better as time goes on. Golden State relies heavily on sharpshooter Stephen Curry and blue collar big man David Lee, but Lee is more of a power forward than a center. To win a championship, the Warriors need a legitimate center. Andrew Bogut is good as a backup, but not a starter.

On Wednesday, the deficiency showed as the Los Angeles Clippers outrebounded the Warriors 49-36 in a 111-98 Warriors loss. Blake Griffin led the way with 30 points for the Clips, but it’s time to move on for Golden State as they get a home game and face a much more beatable team in Cleveland.

Suffering From the Quad

The status of Stephen Curry could also affect tonight’s game. Curry has been dealing with a quad injury and had to sit out the last few minutes in the loss to the Clippers. The injury also shows in Curry’s overall production as of late. He’s averaged just 13.6 points and 7 assists in his last 5 games. Head coach, Mark Jackson, has been limiting Curry’s minutes due to the injury because this is a superstar that he’s dealing with. Aside from Kevin Durant, Curry is the best pure shooter in the game. He’s a Reggie Miller that can score more and pass the basketball better. Golden State doesn’t want to mess with their investment when they’ve secured a playoff position and should be able to beat Cleveland with Curry on limited minutes.

Outcome

The Cavaliers are coming into this game with some confidence and due to Steph Curry playing limited minutes, I like the Cavs to make this a ball game and keep it close.

Pick- Cleveland +9.5 at Bet 365
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