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For the first time since the return of LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers look mortal. They are currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the top seed in the Eastern Conference and they have the much more difficult schedule from here on out. Not that a second seed is the worst thing for this team if they are well rested going into the playoffs, but there have been definite cracks showing over the past few weeks. The defense has been giving up big points and that is something that can really hurt this team in the playoffs. I still see them in the Finals, but a defensively challenged team likely means longer series earlier and that means tired players later. If we’re talking about a Finals against the Warriors or Spurs, you definitely don’t want to be tired.
This is definitely the story to watch over the last few weeks. The Cavs are just 6-9 in March and still have three back-to-backs left on the schedule. The choice of rest versus the top seed will be a tough one for them. They face the Bulls in Chicago tonight before playing Philly at home tomorrow.
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NBA Betting Tips:
The Cavaliers got a break last night when the Celtics lost to the Bucks and they get another one tonight as they face the Chicago Bulls. The Cavs come into this game well rested and the Bulls are one of the biggest messes in the league. They are currently 1.5 games out of the playoffs and it’s hard to see any signs of a team that is going to make a strong run. They are just done. Cleveland -5 should roll tonight.
The Lakers are not going to try to win another game this season. There is just too much to lose. If they finish outside of the top three in the draft lottery, they lose their pick to the 76ers which would be a terrible thing for them. They desperately want to get out of this situation they are in and the only way to do that is with more assets. They aren’t going to get bailed out in free agency, they need draft picks. So, yeah, I’m all over the Timberwolves -10.5 tonight. Minnesota has been a much better team since the All-Star break and their talent advantage in this game will be huge. This should be an easy one for the Wolves.
The best game of the night could be the late one as Houston heads to Portland. Houston should probably rest as there is basically no chance of them moving up or down in the standings, they are locked in at the #3 spot with a six game cushion either way. They shouldn’t care about this game. Meanwhile, the Blazers are one of the hotter teams out there. They’ve won four straight and are 8-2 over their past ten. The Blazers are always tough at home, this game means more to them than it does the Rockets and they’re getting points. Sign me up, Blazers +2