Cavaliers vs. 76’ers Pick NBA – Feb 18th

It’s an interesting time in the NBA; the All-Star Game and all its bluster have faded, and while the playoff chase is heating up, the NBA races tend to take a slight backseat to March Madness.  Therefore, the talk of the NBA world isn’t who’s playing whom, it’s who’s going to be playing WHERE.  The two biggest names bandying about are Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo.  Less than four years ago they were opposing key components in the NBA Finals.  Now, they are discardable parts of proud franchises in disarray.

My gut feel is that both move, though we’ve all been down this road with Gasol many, many times.  I can’t think of a borderline HOF’er (International play is also a factor) who has been nearly dealt as many times are poor Pao.  For the affable Spaniard’s sake; please pull the trigger LA.  Free Gasol!

We closed the first half of the season in lousy fashion with a long losing skid.  It was a rough month in general, and much of the NBA season’s profits were squandered.  We are still over .500 on the season, but the dip is well below where we’ve sat at the turn the past three seasons.  That’s means I’ve got some work to do – let’s get rolling with a nice winner to start the week and the second season.

Today’s Free Pick:

Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5 at Philadelphia 76’ers (Total: 210.5)

The All-Star Game MVP, Kyrie Irving, begins the second half of his third season with a whole new scrutiny headed his way; ‘will Kyrie stay or will he leave’ talk will follow him everywhere (though he doesn’t even need to make that decision this year).   Fortunately for him, the Cavs are in a decent position to finish the year strong.  Kyrie is obviously playing well, and they are healthy finally.  Varejao is out tonight, but isn’t expected to miss significant time, and the addition of Deng has had some time to settle in and blend with the existing talent.  They won three in a row heading into the break and looked pretty good beating Memphis and notching a road win at Detroit.

Their opponent tonight, hmmm, stinks?  Tanking?  Abominable?  Unwatchable?  Pick an adjective.  The Sixers are dreadful and not seemingly too concerned about getting worse.  Evan Turner is on the trading block and they enter tonight on an eight-game losing streak, including back-to-back 40-plus point losses and have lost 14 of their last 16 overall.  Bletch.

I don’t really see Philly putting up to many more banner efforts this season, and the roster could continue to thin as the front office starts to smell the Lottery.  I like Cleveland to go in and get a solid win tonight and begin their push towards challenging for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot (don’t laugh, they are only three back with 14 games against sub-.500 teams remaining)

Free Pick:  Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5