Cleveland Cavs AT Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday Jan 11, 2011 at 10:30 PM EST
Opening Line: L.A. -15
Current Line: L.A. -15
Opening Total: 199.5
Current Total: 199.5
Moneyline: L.A. -4500 / Cleveland +2000
Just when Cavs fans didn’t think things could get any worse, they did. The Cavs found out yesterday that they will be without the services of center Anderson Varjeao for the remainder of the year, thinning out a frontline that was already very weak. It will mean more playing time for J.J. Hickson, but it will probably also mean that the Cavs finish with the worst record in the league. They are already tied for the worst record in the league and at least the other team tied with them, Sacramento, has a bright future with pieces like DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans. Cleveland fans have less to get excited about when the Cavs best two players are aging veterans Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison.
The Lakers are certainly licking their chops at the weak Cavs front line, given that the Lakers have the best three man frontline in the league in Gasol/Bynum/Odom. I am constantly finding myself saying in Lakers game previews that the opposing team is going to have problems with the trio, and every night they do…it is the Lakers’ greatest strength and few teams have a lineup that can even contain the trio.
Some betting trends:
Cleveland is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 games. They are 0-5 SU in their last 5 and 0-5 SU in their last 5 road games. The Cavs are 3-10-2 ATS in their last 15 road games and the total has gone OVER In 9 of their last 13 on the road. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 5 against the Lakers. Cleveland is 7-2 SU in their last 9 against L.A. and 3-8 SU on the road in their last 11 games against the Lakers. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 7 on the road in L.A.
The Lakers are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Lakers’ last 5 games. The Lakers are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games and they are 4-1 SU in their last 5 at home. L.A. is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games at home and the total hasg one UNDER In 9 of their last 12 at home. The total has gone UNDER in all 5 of their last 5 games against the Cavs and they are 2-7 SU in their last 9 against Cleveland.
J.J. Hickson/Antawn Jamison/Ryan Hollins vs Lamar Odom/Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum
How bad does L.A.’s frontline own Cleveland’s? It was already bad enough then Cleveland lost Varejao for the season. Even if Manny Harris can hold Kobe under 30, there is still this problem down low for the Cavs, and it makes it even easier to see why NBA oddsmakers are expecting a 15 point blowout for this one. While Hickson has a bright future and Jamison is still capable of big games, Hollins is a role player at best and will now be an integral part of the front court.
Manny Harris vs. Kobe Bryant
Raise your hands if you’ve heard of Manny Harris. No one? Ok, I hadn’t either until I was checking box scores. Apparently he is an undrafted rookie, but judging by his last two games, he’s a good one. In their loss to Phoenix he scored 27 points and grabbed 8 boards and in the game before that against the Warriors he had 16 pts and 10 boards. While both those teams play very little defense, it is a good sign that he is able to exploit weak defenses at least and score the basketball. He’s not going to match Kobe’s output tonight, but if he can just put up 15 points and hold Bryant under 25, that’s the most the Cavs can ask of the 20 year old rookie.
Tonight’s game should be an ugly one. The Cavs have to be feeling dejected with the worst record in the league and their best defensive player out for the season. Their only bright spot now is getting the number one pick in the NBA Draft this summer…