Russell Westbrook is making it hard to ignore his MVP candidacy. Despite his team still locked in an intense battle for eighth place in the West, Russell notched his sixth triple-double in eight games and is over the last month has been most dominant force that anyone has seen in the NBA since Michael Jordan was in full Airness mode.
But is he really the MVP? It will be one of the more fascinating debates in years, especially if the Thunder remain in a fierce battle for the last playoff spot while Steph Curry’s Warriors cruise to the best record in the West and James Harden leads the Rockets to a top four seed.
Oh, and don’t forget about the surging and suddenly NBA favorite-looking Cavaliers…
We took a tough one-point loss last night as the Nets covered over Philly by just a single point. Let’s see if we can bounce back with a nice winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers -10.5 at Orlando Magic
The Cavaliers were the talk of the nation after Thursday night’s thrilling win at San Antonio is overtime that was highlighted by Kyrie Irving outscoring the Spurs 20-17 in the final minute of regulation and overtime. Kyrie’s display was beyond impressive, but my ultimate takeaway from the game is two-fold: first, that the Cavs have a second legitimate star to lean on in the postseason, and secondly, a subtle reminder of the brilliance of LeBron James in his complete willingness to defer to the hot hand when it best suits the team. As long as Kevin Love can handle the fourth quarter benching (which by all account he has – which is also odd to me and makes it hard to imagine he stays in Cleveland) this team is starting to really come together as a complete unit.
Meanwhile, Orlando has some young talent but they aren’t one of the teams that is making an interesting statement late in the season. Minnesota, Philadelphia and Boston have all showed nice flashes of future competence lately. The Magic have lost seven of ten with two of their three wins being by just five point at home against Boston and Philly. They have played the Cavs twice this season and lost by an average of more than 20 points.
There is little stopping the Cavs right now. They have won five of six including three of their last four road games with wins at San Antonio, Dallas and Toronto. I expect them to make quick work of the Magic tonight.