Wounded Cleveland tries to fend off Chicago
Their sparking record wouldn’t suggest anything amiss, but the Cavaliers’ roster has been rocked by injuries and illness of late. Can Tyronn Lue’s troops rise above the adversity against Chicago?
The two squads hit the Quicken Loans Arena floor tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Cleveland odds of -215 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the Bulls represent +185 underdogs.
LeBron James and his friends occupy first place in the Central Division at 26-7. Potential roadblocks, however, loom everywhere. Point guard Kyrie Irving (hamstring) last suited up on Dec. 29. In Monday’s 90-82 victory over New Orleans, power forward Kevin Love labored through 24 minutes before exiting in the fourth quarter. James also continues to battle the flu.
Still, does Chicago (17-18) have enough oomph to pull off an upset? Fred Holberg’s club is just 6-11 over the past four weeks. Medical concerns exist in the Windy City, too, as Dwayne Wade (knee) and Denzel Valentine (ankle) are considerably hobbled.
While Irving and Love should be OK to compete in 10 or so hours, we’re not expecting the usual tremendous production from James’ chief sidekicks. With the likes of Jordan McRae, DeAndre Liggins and Kay Felder currently seeing extended time in Northeast Ohio, the Bulls need to seize this opportunity. We’ll ride with the visitors to keep matters close.
WEDNESDAY NBA FREE PICK: BULLS +5.5