A lot has has happened in the NBA since these two teams met in the Finals over a decade ago. The Spurs, usually known for their stability and playing the right way approach, find themselves in a bit of a funk which isn’t something that happens often.
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding their All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard. Despite being medically cleared to play by the Spurs staff, Kawhi is still out and has only participated in 9 games all season. Troubled by a quad injury that just will not heal, it is likely that Leonard will not play again this season. Without arguably their best player, the Spurs are still at a decent 4th position in the West standings, however they are only two games ahead of the 8th placed New Orleans Pelicans in a very loaded Western Conference.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have managed to steady their ship as of late by winning 5 of their last 6 games. Cleveland, hailed by many as the winners of the transfer deadline day, brought in 4 new players to their roster and the chemistry has worked in their favor so far.
George Hill, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood have all looked very good in their first couple of games with the Cavs. The defence has picked it up and they’re the 4th ranked team in the league when it comes to defensive efficiency since the trades happened. In Friday’s win over Memphis, the four new guys combined for 57 points in a 23 point route.
LeBron James played a great game against Memphis and recorded his 11th triple-double of the season with 18 points, 14 rebounds & 11 assists.
San Antonio has had the upper hand over the Cavaliers lately having won three games in a row. However, tonight they might be without veteran shooting guard Manu Ginobili who suffered a chest injury against the Nuggets on Friday. Danny Green also sat that game out with an illness. Both of those players are game time decisions for tonight.
With Cleveland’s excellent defensive record as of late (they held two teams under 100 points in their last five games) I would expect them to do business again tonight against the Spurs. My bet here is Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 Point Spread .
In head to head meetings, there has only been one game in which both teams didn’t go over 100 points in the last 4 games. Although they held Memphis to only 89 points, San Antonio is a different beast and I expect a bit more scoring from them tonight. My bet here is Over 216.5 Total Points .