Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - 1/16/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Cleveland Cavaliers (20-20) at Los Angeles Clippers (26-13)
NBA Basketball: Friday, January 16, 2015 at 10:30 pm (STAPLES Center)
The Line: Los Angeles Clippers -7 -- Over/Under: 208.5 See the Latest Odds
The Los Angeles Clippers host the Cleveland Cavaliers for an ESPN showdown on Friday night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up a win last night against the Lakers to snap a six game skid, moving to .500 at 20-20 on the year. LeBron James played for just the second time since December 28th, dropping 36 points to follow up a 33 point effort in his return. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love playing at a high level, the Cavs might be able to round into form if J.R. Smith can develop consistency at shooting guard where we’re likely to see him in a starting role. Defensive form could be tougher to find in the short-term though as the Cavs struggle with a 19th ranked defense that concedes 100.2 points per game. Defending the high-powered Clippers in a back-to-back setting seems like a recipe for disaster, so look for the Cavs to have to pile on the points to stay in the game in this one. The Cavaliers are 9-11 on the road this year.
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The Los Angeles Clippers are an impressive 26-13 on the year, but in the ultra-competitive West that’s only good enough for sixth in the playoff race. The Clippers have protected home court well with a 17-6 record, but their most recent home outing was a disappointment as the team fell 104-90 to the Heat as a double-digit favorite. The Clippers did follow up that bad loss with a big road win in Portland last time out though, as Jamal Crawford scored a team-high 25 points off the bench as LA emerged 100-94. Chris Paul has been hot of late, posting double-digit assists in four of his last five games while averaging 19.4 points. Blake Griffin has also been in peak form averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and five assists per game on the year. The Clippers don’t boast a great defense allowing 99.8 points per game to rank 16th in the league.
We saw a high-scoring battle at the Staples Center on Thursday night when the Cavs played the Lakers and I see a similar up-tempo game developing here with the offenses well ahead of the defenses.