Free Play: Cavaliers -12 1/2 at 76ers

On November 2, 2015, in Free Picks, NBA, by Stephen

Cavaliers minus 12 1/2 at 76ers

Based on sheer talent, the Cavaliers should blow out the 76ers by at least 20 points. Philadelphia is 0-2 losing by 17 points to the Celtics and by 28 to the Jazz this past Friday in their home opener.

The question for the Cavaliers isn’t winning, but covering this double-digit road spread. I see the situation laying out well for Cleveland to do that.

The Cavaliers also had the weekend to rest, a big key for LeBron James. Cleveland doesn’t play again until Wednesday when it hosts another bad team, the Knicks.

The 76ers upset the Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center last season in a game that James did not play in. So the Cavaliers shouldn’t be taking Philadelphia lightly, nor should they be holding anything back.

Philadelphia has failed to cover in its last six home games. The 76ers easily are the worst team in the NBA. Two of their starters – Tony Wroten and Robert Covington – are out and their bench is the weakest in the league.

76ers coach Brett Brown is very concerned about his team’s lack of offense and 36 percent shooting from the floor along with 43 turnovers. Brown admits that rebuilding and player development are the priorities for the 76ers – not going all out for victories.

Kevin Love has erased some concerns about his poor preseason. He’s looked better than expected during the early going. James will make sure Love and the rest of the Cavaliers are involved.

As long as the Cavaliers take this game semi-serious – which I believe they will – they shouldn’t have a problem covering this number.

Grizzlies plus 9 at Golden State

Memphis has proven it can hang with Golden State taking the defending champions to six games in the playoffs last season, including winning Game 2 at Oracle Arena, 97-90.

The Grizzlies have their same cast of rough customers that helped them to finish in the top five in defensive scoring each of the last four years. This figures to be a fierce, intense battle with the Grizzlies out for revenge. Memphis has covered in seven of its last 10 visits to Golden State.

The Warriors haven’t seen a defense this good yet. Golden State has looked good in going 3-0. But two of the victories came against 0-3 New Orleans, which ranks last in defense, has injuries and point guard Jrue Holiday playing limited minutes. The Warriors’ other victory occurred against the struggling 0-3 Rockets, who rank 25th defensively and 28th in defensive shooting percentage.

Steve Kerr has yet to return to the bench and big man Andrew Bogut is questionable.


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