Minnesota Timberwolves (34-22) at Cleveland Cavaliers (30-22)
We missed in a big way last night when we were on the Boston Celtics as they played in Toronto, against the Raptors. It was what I thought would be a high-intensity matchup that could very well be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals this season. Instead, the Celtics came out flat and fell behind big early and could never recover.
The Raptors took the game 111-91, easily covering the five-point spread. Good for Toronto, they are now just one game back of Boston for the top seed in the East and made a huge statement that they are absolutely a contender for the Eastern Conference title this season.
I am not saying its panic time in Boston, they still hold the best record in the conference, but they need to get over this mid-season slump or they are going to lose out on that top seed. And it is very clear they don’t want to have to go through Toronto in the playoffs as the Raptors are very, very good on their home court.
Today I will focus on two more teams that should be high seeds in the playoffs this season when the Minnesota Timberwolves play the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will travel to Cleveland to face off against a Cavaliers team that is in freefall at the moment. The Wolves are currently occupying the four seed in the Western Conference and are just half a game back of San Antonio for the three slot. The Wolves have won two straight games and enjoyed a nice little three-day vacation since beating New Orleans on February 3rd.
The Cavs are struggling badly, as the team is seemingly becoming more dysfunctional by the day. Cleveland lost last night to the NBA’s worst team, the Orlando Magic, by eighteen points. The Timberwolves are -4-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 223 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST from Quicken Loans Arena.
I’m not sure what else can be said about the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. They are as broken of a team as I can remember right now. The Isaiah Thomas experiment has completely blown up in their face, and I expect this roster to be dismantled any minute. Even a prime Lebron James hasn’t been able to stop this team from embarrassing itself. King James was quoted as saying that Cleveland should be taken off all national television broadcasts for the rest of the year as they aren’t worthy of even being watched. Ouch.
Things were going poorly for Cleveland before the Cavs lost Kevin Love for the rest of the year with an injury and this feels like the swan song for Lebron in Cleveland. I expect Thomas to be traded, and James to bolt once again after the season ends. Head coach Tyrone Lue is going to almost certainly be fired, probably any day now, and this team is going to have to start over again.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a solid team this year. They are a legit top four team in the West, and they are going to win a lot of games down the stretch. But I am not going to try and fool anyone here, I am not betting on the Minnesota Timberwolves, I am betting against the Cleveland Cavaliers. For some reason, the public has yet to fully react to the fact that this team stinks.
Case in point, last night when they were -6.5-point favorites on the road. Yeah, they were playing against a really bad team, but right now the Cavs shouldn’t be favored on the road against anybody, period. Even this line tonight doesn’t make any sense to me. How can Cleveland only be four-point dogs against a team as good as the Wolves? I know they are at home, and if they are going to win any games, it is at home, but they could easily get blown out tonight.
Here is some more of my standard situational betting for you. The Cavs played last night, on the road, and got blown out by a very bad team. Now they must travel all the way home tonight, play back to back games, the second of which is against a very competitive team, that is playing for a lot right now.
Oh, and yeah, the Wolves got the NBA equivalent of spring break as they have had three straight days off to heal up and prepare. The last home game for Cleveland on February 3rd, they were also four-point dogs against one of the top teams in the West, the Houston Rockets. They got obliterated by 32 points.
Until Cleveland makes some sort of major move, trading Thomas, firing Lue, something that shows me a change is in place, I am just going to keep betting against them. At home, on the road, as favorites, as dogs, they can’t beat anybody right now and until they prove to me that they can, I am going to position myself on the other side of them as much as possible.
Maybe Cleveland wakes up tonight and defends their home court, maybe they show up tired after getting shellacked in Orlando last night and get blown out by forty.
Either way, I am taking the other side. I love me some Lebron, but even the NBA’s best player can’t help this train wreck of a team right now. Give me the Minnesota Timberwolves -4-points on the road tonight.