NBA Handicappers will agree, this game won't be pretty as the massive 16.5 point betting favorites, Cleveland Cavaliers, come into the city of Brotherly Love to face a bottom-feeding Philadelphia 76'ers.
Tip-off is scheduled for today at 4:30 pm ET at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Cavs, as mentioned ,are a 16.5 point betting favorite in NBA odds and the total for the game is listed at 200.5
The 76'ers aren't really looking to win. No matter what people say, losing teams such as the Sixers and Knicks, want to be in the lottery. The Sixers would be happy just not to be embarrassed. I can safely say that you'll be seeing a lot of guys like Iman Shumpert in this game because Cleveland will have it wrapped up by the end of the 3rd quarter; no question.
Taking Matters into his Own Hands
Lebron James has approached this season in many different ways, seeing which way would benefit his team. He clearly has Kyrie Irving on his side as Irving has had two games of 55 points or more this season, but Kevin Love is a question mark.
In a game against the SIxers, James might defer to Love as Love is a player who isn't happy when he's not the focus of the offense. Obviously, any player on a team with LBJ, will never be the focus of the team and this doesn't sit well with Kevin Love, who is better than most players in the league.
Lebron has tried to defer his offense and he has also taking matters into his own hands like he did against Brooklyn. This is a game in which the role players such as J.R. Smith, will see a ton of playing time. Funny enough, the Cavs role players are better than the Sixers starters with the exception of Nerlens Noel.
The Love of Basketball?
The trade that sent Andrew Wiggins to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love simply hasn't worked out. This is funny because a player that averages 16.6 points and 10 rebounds per game is usually happy.
I wouldn't expect to see Love on the Cavaliers next season, but he can still help them win a championship this season. In his two meetings against Philly this season, K. Love has pounded the boards, averaging 16.5 points and 17 rebounds per game. The Sixers offer little resistance defensively and couldn't hit the side of a barn on the offensive end. This game could get ugly in a hurry.
Charles Barkley's Pick For Rookie of the Year
First of all, Charles is always wrong with his picks and he'll be wrong again this season. With that said, Nerlens Noel has really started to find his game in the mid part of the season. He's not a great shooter, but this is a player that can do many things well. He kind of reminds me of a smaller version of Dikembe Mutombo without the finger waving.
After a 30 point, 14 rebound game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Noel is averaging 16 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game in his last 10 games. This is a vast improvement from his 9.9 points per game this season. Look for Noel to have a battle with Mozgov and get his share of offensive opportunities.
Despite the odds, the Cavaliers should be added to your NBA picks. I don't think that garbage time will affect the outcome of this game.
NBA Pick- Cleveland -16 at Pinnacle