Davis hopes to lift New Orleans out of funk
Having already established himself as one of the NBA’s best individual talents, Anthony Davis’ next challenge is a bit more daunting: lifting the woebegone Pelicans to respectability.
The fourth-year center will try to pilot his team past the Central Division-leading Cavaliers tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the defending champs odds of -290 to handle their business on the road. New Orleans, on the other hand, represents a +245 underdog.
Despite Davis’ best efforts, the Pelicans hover near the bottom of the standings. Friday’s 143-114 blasting at the hands of Brooklyn was particularly humbling for Alvin Gentry’s crew. New Orleans now gets to host Cleveland, Oklahoma City and San Antonio in succession this week.
The Cavs are also aiming to rebound from a sobering result over the weekend. LeBron James & Co. dropped an overtime verdict to the Spurs, with No. 23 committing seven turnovers along the way. Cleveland is just 5-5 in January.
That said, expect a focused effort on the part of Tyronn Lue’s group away from Quicken Loans Arena. New Orleans doesn’t boast a wealth of strong perimeter defenders, so this could be an ideal chance for new acquisition Kyle Korver to find his stroke. Take the wine and gold in a rout.
MONDAY NBA FREE PICK: CAVALIERS -7.5