The NBA Game Breakdown takes an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines and defense vs. position matchups.

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*WARRIORS AT CAVALIERS

Game Analysis

The Cavaliers (36-22) just aren’t the same team they were a month ago. Yes, the Cavs got a roster shake-up at the trade deadline, but I’m mainly talking about their elevated level of play. Since January 15th, the Cavs have only lost TWO games. Yeah, that’s right. TWO games, with a 17-2 record since January 15th. Talk about a team that’s changed direction, eh? Although the Cavs have been playing like wildfire, they host the Warriors (44-10) on Thursday who still hold the best record in the NBA. The Warriors remain tops in the NBA in points per game (110.4), and point guard Stephen Curry is also pushing the Warriors to the top in assists per game (27.1). It’s going to be a difficult task for the Cavs to shut down the visiting Warriors, although considering their huge momentum heading into this game (holding opponents under 100 points in 14 of their last 19 games) don’t be surprised to see Cleveland take control early on. With both teams playing tops in the league right now, I’m taking the 215.5 over in this game.

Line: CLE – 3.5, Over/Under: 215.5

Players to Watch

  • LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers  – 20th OPRK ($10,300)
  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavaliers  – 19th OPRK ($7,700)
  • Draymond Green, PF, Warriors  – 19th OPRK ($6,700)
  • David Lee, PF, Warriors  – 19th OPRK ($4,400)

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THUNDER AT SUNS

Game Analysis

The Suns (29-28) can score points like crazy (106.1 PPG) but they just can’t keep other teams from scoring (105.2 PPG), hence their 29-28 record. Keep in mind that the Suns are a very streaky club and right now they are suffering to the tune of a 1-8 record over their last nine games played. Yikes. At the end of January, the Suns were eight games above the .500 mark, but since then they’ve been hiding their heads in a hole, a la ostrich-style. The Thunder (32-25) hold onto the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference as they have won seven games in a row and nine out of their last 10 games played. There isn’t a hotter team in the NBA, and all this while Kevin Durant nurses yet another injury. Look for the Thunder to take control of this one even on the road, manhandling the Suns at times. I don’t see this game being close with the Thunder covering the – 5.0 line on the road. Yeah, that’s right – on the road.

Line: OKC – 5.0, Over/Under: 216.5

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder  – 25th OPRK ($11,300)
  • Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns  – 16th OPRK ($7,900)
  • Enes Kanter, C, Thunder – 19th OPRK ($5,900)
  • P.J. Tucker, SF, Suns  – 22nd OPRK ($5,400)

 

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