San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers
Time: 7:30 PM CT (ABC)
Spread: SAS -1.5
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
As good as the Golden State Warriors have been, many are overlooking the 39-7 San Antonio Spurs who come as winners of nine of its past 10. The Spurs travel to face the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:30 Central on ABC. NBA oddsmakers are favoring the Spurs by 1.5 points.
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The Spurs had a 13-game win streak snapped by Golden State, however, and the game was not even close. San Antonio fell 120-90 to the Warriors, but it bounced back to blow out the Houston Rockets 130-99 last game.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game high 25 points on 9 of 13 shooting, while also grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing five assists in 30 minutes of play. Kawhi Leonard contributed 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting as San Antonio shot 55.6 percent from the field as a team. The Spurs kept James Harden to 20 points, paving the way for the lopsided victory.
Leonard and Aldridge both made the 2016 All-Star team, and it was deserving on both accounts. Though Aldridge has seen his usage rate plummet from his time with the Portland Trail Blazers, he is averaging 15.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while posting a PER just under 20.
Leonard leads the Spurs in scoring at 19.9 points per game and he grabs 6.7 rebounds and averages 2.5 assists. The Spurs are a well-balanced team that really uses a nine-man rotation, all the way down to David West who is playing on a vet min contract for San Antonio.
Tim Duncan is going to sit out this matchup with a knee injury and he has missed three of his past four games, only suiting up to make a 21 minute cameo in the loss to Golden State. Duncan has declined to career lows of 8.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, but there is no placing a value on his leadership nor his overall defensive abilities. Duncan still blocks 1.3 shots per game in 26 minutes per night, while serving as the Spurs elder statesman.
The Cavs come in as winners of its past three, having knocked off the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Detroit Pistons. The most recent was the 114-106 win over Detroit which saw forward Kevin Love score a game high 29 points on 9 of 19 shooting.
Love also had six rebounds and three assists. The Cavaliers also got a big game from Kyrie Irving who scored 28 points on 11 of 19 shooting. The pair playing so well allowed LeBron James to have something of an off night with 20 points, nine boards and eight assists.
That is what the Cavs can be: a three-headed monster, a big three, or whatever appellation one prefers. The talent is fairly top-loaded in Cleveland but if the Cavs get all three of its main cogs functioning well this team can be very tough to beat.
LeBron James was left on an island in the 2016 playoffs, but he hopes to have Love and Irving flanking the wings when the Cavs return to the postseason this year. Love has averaged 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his past five games while shooting 39.4 percent from three over that span.
|San Antonio||Over is 8-1 in Spurs last 9 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Over is 8-1 in Spurs last 9 games following a ATS win.
Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game.
|Cleveland||Under is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 games when their starting 5 players combine for more than 160 minutes on the previous day.
Under is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 Saturday games.
Over is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
|Head to Head||Spurs are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Cleveland.
Over is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings.
Spurs are 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings.