Thursday nights are always popular due to NBA on TNT. To kick things off we get to see this new-look Cavaliers team in action. We’ll also see the Clippers in the late game for the first time this season.
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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Pick
Point Spread: Knicks +11.5 (-110) vs. Cavaliers –11.5 (-110)
The Knicks (0-1) lost their home opener against the Bulls (104-80). Carmelo Anthony had 14 points on 5 of 13 shooting from the field. It was quickly evident that the Knicks are in trouble again.
They have no PG to distribute the basketball to the shooters. Shane Larkin is the starting PG and he was held to 3 assists and 6 points in 26 minutes. They were also dominated in the paint.
Chicago outscored the Knicks 42-28 in the paint and that was with Joakim Noah struggling to 3 points on 1-4 shooting from the field. A lot of the starters didn’t play much in the 2H for the Bulls either.
This Cavaliers line-up should be dominant. Their starting five includes Lebron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao. The Knicks won’t be able to keep up in this game.
If you look, the Cleveland bench also has a bunch of talent. Marion and Mike Miller will provide veteran scoring off the bench and Tristan Thompson is still with the team. I can’t wait to watch this team.
You know with this game being on TNT with the nation watching that the Cavaliers will show up to play to their potential. There will be growing pains for this team, but the Knicks aren’t a big threat.
My Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers –11.5 (-110)
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Pick
Point Spread: Thunder +10.5 (-110) vs. Clippers –10.5 (-110)
Oklahoma City (0-1) may be in trouble to start the season, as Kevin Durant is injured. They opened up their season last night on the road against Portland and they were blown out 106-89.
Russell Westbrook was a beast. He had 38 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. The problem was that only two other players scored in double digits (Lance Thomas 14 & Serge Ibaka 10).
OKC had more fast break points and points in the paint than the Trailblazers, but Portland shot 37.9% (11/29) from beyond the arc. The defense was poor, but part of the problem is the short bench.
Durant isn’t the only player out. The OKC bench is short right now and playing back-to-back nights on the road is going to be tough this early in the season. This will be the first time we see the LAC.
The Clippers bring back the same starting line-up as last season. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will have to lead this team again although with J.J. Redick healthy he should be a bigger contributor.
Unfortunately, the bench is still a weak spot. Crawford is a great sixth man, but other than that the LAC will have to rely on scoring from Hawes, Farmer and Davis now that Collison is gone.
Playing two nights on the road in a row is tough. OKC is without Durant and Westbrook is going to have a tougher time around the hoop in this game. I’ll be on the Clippers to cover in their home opener.
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Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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