Point guard prepares to battle familiar faces
Matthew Dellavedova played an important role in helping the Cavaliers make back-to-back NBA finals appearances. Now, though, he’s just another obstacle blocking the path of LeBron James & Co.
Cleveland will square off against Dellavedova’s Bucks this evening, with an 8 p.m. ET tip at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Tyronn Lue’s team odds of -300 to take care of business on the road. Conversely, Milwaukee represents a +240 underdog.
After spending his first three seasons in northeast Ohio, Dellavedova signed a $38 million offer sheet from the Bucks in July. He’s even secured a starting spot for Jason Kidd, averaging 7.9 points and 6.3 assists in 2016-17. Yet the Bucks (7-8) aren’t exactly thriving as a group. Despite Sunday’s 104-96 triumph over Orlando, they’re 3-6 since Nov. 6.
In contrast, the defending champions look as powerful as ever. The Cavs (13-2) overcame a poor shooting first half to dispose of Philadelphia two nights ago. Kyrie Irving reeled off 19 fourth-quarter points in the 112-108 win.
Cleveland’s recent dominance of the Bucks suggests a less-than-competitive affair shortly. Then again, the visiting squad’s not laying waste to foes away from Quicken Loans Arena at the moment. Expect Dellavedova and his new friends to stay within striking distance.
TUESDAY NBA FREE PICK: BUCKS +7.5