Cavaliers Look to Start 2nd Half off Strong
Two of the top four seeds in the East battle Thursday night on TNT to kick-off the unofficial second-half of the NBA season. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards both went into the All-Star break on high notes. Both teams winning 7 of their last 10 games.
The Wizards also won their last two games. The Cavs come in on a four-game win streak. Cleveland sits in third place in the East, with Washington just 1.5 games behind in the fourth spot. At 34-22 on the season the Cavs are 18-37-1 ATS. The Wizards sit at 33-24 and are 27-30 ATS.
Online sports betting lines for this contest show the Cavaliers as 5.5-point favorites. The total is at 221.
Wizards Without Wall Against Cavaliers
The Wizards will be without John Wall in this contest. He is expected to be out until mid-March. Washington has played surprisingly well without Wall lately. The team is currently searching for another point guard to add to the roster while he’s out.
In their last game, Washington rallied all the way from a 27-point deficit to take down the Knicks. Bradley Beal put up 37 points in that contest. Beal will continue to the lead way without Wall. Otto Porter Jr and Markieff Morris will need to supplement Beal’s scoring in this one for the Wizards to match Cleveland’s firepower.
Washington looks to be playing more free and easy without Wall and some of the Wizards players have even not so subtly hinted at this fact. Everyone is getting the chance to contribute which makes them dangerous.
Cavaliers Look to Battle On Without Love
Cleveland is also a team that knows a thing or two about playing without a star player. The Cavs have also fared well in the absence of forward Kevin Love. That is in large part to their activity at the trade deadline. They are now basically a whole new team altogether.
The emergence of new players Larry Nance, Jordan Clarkson, George Hill and Rodney Hood has made Cleveland a much more athletic and youthful bunch. The additions have also seemed to re-energize LeBron James and JR Smith.
Even without Love, Cleveland’s offense is now as dangerous as ever. After being repeatedly embarrassed against the top teams in the league, Cleveland defeated Boston and Oklahoma City to go 2-0 with their new roster.
Expect Cleveland to keep the momentum going in this one as the Wizards will have a tough time keeping up the scoring pace without Wall. For more on this game and all other action across the NBA, visit HRWager.
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