Cavs v Lakers headlines an exciting night of NBA action
Nick Murphy | 14 December 2017
Three big games this evening
Two of the NBA’s biggest franchises go head-to-head tonight as the LA Lakers host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It’s the standout game on a knockout night of basketball stateside.
Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Nets face the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the Atlanta Timberwolves take on the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors are on the road at the Dallas Mavericks.
The Coral News Team are on hand to guide you through three of the biggest games from this evening’s action.
Cavaliers @ Lakers
01:00 AM [UK Time] Friday 15th December
After two home losses on the bounce, this will be a tough assignment for the Lakers. The Cavaliers sit second in the Eastern Conference with an away record of 11 and four. They’ve won 15 of their last 16 games. That is some seriously impressive form.
Unsurprisingly, the combined performance of LeBron James and Kevin Love has been a huge reason behind their success. The pair dominate across the board for the Cavs when it comes to points, rebounds and assists. James alone has shot over 30 points in three of his last six games. He’s third when it comes to overall scoring in the NBA this season with an average of 28.3 points per game.
The narrative behind this game surrounds James and the Lakers’ Lonzo Ball. He’s a self-confessed fan of the Cavs star and is currently enjoying a good enough season to be in contention for Rookie Player of the year. There are parallels between the two players, even if one will almost certainly outshine the other on the court tonight.
And the Cavs’ recent success is all the more remarkable given their current injury roster. Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert and point guard Isaiah Thomas have all been missing for large chunks of the season.
No matter, they’re in the top three for points scored and they should continue their good run on the road at Madison Square Garden.
There’s no value in the Cavs at 1/4, so -10 in favour of the visitors in the spread betting could pay at 20/21. Over 219.0 points in the match also makes sense at 10/11.
Nets @ Knicks
12:30am [UK Time] Friday 15th December
The Brooklyn Nets will be looking to get revenge on the New York Knicks in the second cross-town match of the season. The Knicks prevailed 107-86 when the two teams met in October.
Given their respective recent records, this should be an intriguing match-up. The Nets have won four of their last five on the road, while their rivals have won four of their last five at home. There’s not much to separate the two teams in the table either.
Latvian star Kristaps Porzingis is the man to watch after the 7ft 3in ace scored 37 points against the Lakers last time out. The Nets have improved defensively in recent weeks, but Porzingis is sure to test that to the max tonight.
Warriors @ Mavericks
03:30 AM [UK Time] Friday 15th December
It’s second-top v second-bottom in the Western Conference as the Warriors go on the road to face the Mavericks. Last season’s Championship winners saw off their beleaguered opponents 133-103 earlier in the season and should make light work of them once again here.
However, they might have to do without Draymond Green. Last season’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year missed Monday’s home win over the Portland Trail Blazers and could sit out again here. Stephen Curry and Nick Young are also doubts after the pair missed practice on Wednesday.
That could be a worry against a Mavericks side that stunned the Spurs with home advantage last time out. If the home team are to spring a shock tonight, they’ll need to keep it tight. That looks unlikely, though, given that the Mavs have restricted just two opponents to under 105 points so far this season. Pushing the ball and winning rebounds will be crucial if they’re to have any chance.
On form, though, it still makes sense to side with the road team. The Mavs don’t score too many points, which makes Under 212.0 makes appealing at 20/21.
All odds and markets correct as of day of publishing.