Both the Cleveland Cavalier and Portland Trail Blazers entered the 2013-14 season with plenty of promise but only one of them has come through on the expectations. While the Blazers are competing with the big boys in the Western Conference, the Cavaliers are sinking in the weak East. Is there any reason to believe the Cavs can compete on Wednesday?
The Cleveland Cavaliers can win because…
The Trail Blazers have tapered off recently. After starting the year with 24 wins in their first 29 games, they have just four wins in their last eight. Some of those losses have been alarming, including losses in New Orleans and Sacramento, as well as a home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
If you’re making your NBA picks on Wednesday, keep in mind that the Blazers are not playing with a ton of focus right now. They could show up and crush the Cavs on the NBA odds but there’s a very good chance they try to sleepwalk through another winnable game and let the Cavs hang around.
The Portland Trail Blazers can win because…
The Cavs are a mess right now. They have lost 8 of 12 and are simply not a very good team. The addition of Luol Deng hasn’t made a huge difference as they are still toiling near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland is just 4-15 on the season when facing a team with a winning record. They’re also in a back-to-back situation after playing in Los Angeles on Tuesday night and it’s also their third game in four nights. This is simply not a favorable situation for them.
Outlook & Pick
The Cavs are a pretty bad road team as they’re just 4-17 in away games. Their offense is mostly to blame for that as they score just 91.7 points per road game, which is bad news considering who their opponent is on Wednesday.
The Trail Blazers are the second-highest scoring home team (109 points per game) and while they’ve been mediocre over their last eight games, pumping a fatigued and struggling Cavs team shouldn’t be a problem. We'll lay the big spread and take the Blazers with our NBA picks.
Pick: Trail Blazers -13 at Pinnacle