Wizards Will Beat Cavaliers In Potential East Finals Preview

wizards cavaliers

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, February 5, 2017 11:45 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 11:45 PM UTC

The game of the night in the NBA on Monday is when Cleveland visits Washington, which has become a juggernaut at home. It could well be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals, opened as a pick’em and can be seen on TNT.

Cavaliers Should Have Irving Back

Cleveland (34-15) was no doubt glad to put January in the rearview mirror as the Cavs were just 7-8, the worst month for LeBron James team (minimum 10 games) since 2006. In February, the Cavs are 2-0 following a 111-104 win at the Knicks on Saturday. They are now 24-3 this season when they reach at least 110 points. Cleveland is fourth in the NBA in scoring overall at 110.0 ppg and leads the East in three-pointers made, and three-point percentage.

LeBron always loves playing at Madison Square Garden and had 32 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday. He became the youngest player in NBA history to score 28,000 points in his career. At 32 years, 36 days, James passed Kobe Bryant (33 years, 131 days) for the record. James now has 56 career games with 30 points & 10 assists, fifth-most in NBA history.

Kevin Love returned from a two-game injury absence and had 23 points and 16 rebounds in 35 minutes. However, Kyrie Irving didn’t play vs. New York due to a quad injury. The Cavs won for the fourth time in six games in which Irving didn't play. Irving said he was “bumped” during Wednesday’s win over Minnesota but that he was fine and will play here.

I’ll take Irving at his word, but if there’s one glaring weakness on this team it’s the lack of a quality backup point guard. LeBron has been publicly pushing team officials to find one. The Cavs lost their former No. 2, Matthew Dellavedova, in free agency to Milwaukee over the summer. Cleveland recently worked out a bunch of free-agent guards, guys like Jordan Farmar, Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich. There’s talk that Cavs could sign Farmar to a 10-day contract and fill a roster spot up until the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

The Cavs are 21-26-2 ATS on NBA odds this season and 8-14 ATS away from home.


Wizards Rolling At Home

Washington (30-20) currently sits third in the East and that’s a decent spot to be in because it would mean avoiding the Cavaliers until potentially the East Finals. The Wizards are one of the NBA’s best home teams at 22-6 – already matching last season’s win total at home -- and have won 17 in a row there, the second-longest streak in franchise history. They won their seventh straight game overall with a 105-91 victory over the visiting Pelicans on Saturday. John Wall had 24 points and 13 assists as his team moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014-15 season.

Wall, who is playing at an MVP level right now, was asked after that one if the Cleveland game was the biggest of his career:  "It probably is. I've been in some big games before, but I don't think one bigger this year. They've been playing OK, but they're the defending champs. We know what team we have to chase in the East," Wall said.

The Wizards are 13-1 when holding their opponents under 100 points. They are 13-6 when each member of the starting five each score in double figures. The Wiz are 30-20 ATS on NBA picks this season and an excellent 19-9 ATS at home.

Washington has lost the past two meetings with Cleveland. They played in D.C. back on Nov. 11 and the Cavs took a 105-94 decision. LeBron became the youngest to 27,000 points in that one, finishing with 27, 10 rebounds and five assists. Irving had 29. The Cavs were 14-for-33 from three-point range and Washington just 3-for-15. Wall had 28 points. Bradley Beal missed the game.

NBA Free Pick: Wizards At Pick’emBest Line Offered: BookMaker

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