Will LeBron James be active for Tuesday night's game in Phoenix? He's likely to be a game-time call, which makes picking a side in this matchup tricky. Check out where we think you should be looking to go with your NBA picks instead.
NBA odds makers were hoping to get a clearer picture of LeBron's status before releasing their NBA odds, but the odds are finally out and the Suns are favored by five points in their home court.
We see one of the highest totals on the board for this contest, with an O/U of 211 there for the taking as of now. We'll have a lot of lethal scorers on the court here tonight, and neither of these teams have been very good defensively so far this season, which explains the high number.
Heading into this past weekend, the Suns had managed to win four straight games, but they've since dropped consecutive games on the road, albeit against very stingy competition. They first fell to San Antonio (100-95) before falling short to Memphis in double overtime (122-110) on Sunday.
The Suns put forth a great effort, but they really struggled to contain Zach Randolph, who exploded for 27 points and 17 rebounds. They let Memphis shoot an even 48.0 percent from the floor overall, while Phoenix shot 42.0 percent overall and 22.9 percent from beyond the arc themselves. Markieff Morris had a 16/6/3 line with three steals and a block, while Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to score 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting.
New arrival Brandan Wright played 15 minutes off the bench in his team debut, and it looks like that's a role he'll settle in, as Alex Len has been playing well since being inserted into the starting lineup. Len had 14 points and 13 rebounds against Memphis and will look to make another big impact against Cleveland this evening.
Obviously, the big news surrounding the Cavaliers is whether or not LeBron James will make his long-awaited return. He's missed quite a few games for Cleveland, and as a result the team has dropped to a very uninspiring 19-19 overall. More recently, the Cavaliers have gone 1-8 over their past nine games overall.
We last saw Kevin Love and company take the floor Sunday in a bad road loss to Sacramento. Cleveland lost 103-84, as they had no answer whatsoever for DeMarcus Cousins and also struggled to contain Rudy Gay. For the Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving had 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Kevin Love put up 25 points and 10 boards. Timofey Mozgov started at center and put up 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes of action.
We'll continue to monitor the news throughout the day to see if LeBron ends up playing or not, as that's sure to have a drastic effect on the NBA odds. However, our inclination is to roll with the OVER, and we like it to hit for backers regardless of whether or not the superstar is able to suit up.
With uncertainty on LeBron's status, we feel better about approaching this game from a different angle by recommending the OVER.
The Suns don't seem to mind getting into back-and-forth shootouts, and that's what we think we'll see in this spot tonight. Cleveland hasn't been playing at a super high pace, but they'll be playing way up in tempo here, as Phoenix is ranked third in the entire NBA in PACE, which measures how many possessions a team uses per contest.
With Irving and Bledsoe likely to go back and forth and other good scorers like Love and Morris (and potentially LeBron!) out there too, we like the chances of the OVER coming through for backers this evening. Best of luck with all of your NBA pick!
NBA Pick: OVER 211 at 5Dimes