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.

CAVALIERS AT KNICKS

Game Analysis

The Cavaliers (9-7) shouldn’t have any problems manhandling the Knicks (4-15) on Thursday night, but they still need to be careful of superstar Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks will use Anthony, whose shot has suffered over his last couple of games, any way they can to try to overcome the inconsistencies that the Cavs have shown this season.  LeBron James has done a good job wrangling his guys together as the team was previously struggling to maintain a solid basketball relationship. The Cavs have won four games in a row, and I expect it to be five in a row after they beat the Knicks. There’s not much “good” coming from the Knicks these days as they’ve lost five in a row and eight out of their last ten games.

Line: CLE – 7.5

Players to Watch

  • Kevin Love, PF, Cavaliers ($8,900)
  • Jose Calderon, PG, Knicks ($5,600)
  • Amare Stoudemire, PF, Knicks ($5,500)
  • Tristan Thompson, PF, Cavaliers ($5,500)

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PACERS AT TRAIL BLAZERS

Game Analysis

The Pacers (7-11) are a solid team when it comes to their defense, but they have trouble staying with opponents on the offensive front. They will have a very difficult time stopping LaMarcus Aldridge and the Trail Blazers (14-4) even ranking 2nd in the NBA in rebounds (46.1 RPG) and 6th in points allowed (96.4 PPG). Aldridge has been shooting lights out (57.4 percent) over his last two games, so he’s certainly the key to the game if the Pacers expect to come out on top. The Trail Blazers have won 12 of their last 13 games and seem a lock as a winner on Thursday night. If my money is going on a team, it’s the Blazers to cover the -8.5.

Line: POR – 8.5

Players to Watch

  • Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers ($8,700)
  • Wesley Matthews, SG, Trail Blazers ($6,100)
  • Donald Sloan, PG, Pacers ($5,000)
  • Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers ($3,800)

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PELICANS AT WARRIORS

Game Analysis

The Warriors enter Thursday’s game tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for a NBA league leading 15-2 record. They’re winning games with excellent all-around production on both sides of the court, ranking 3rd in the league with 106.5 PPG, 3rd with 45.3 RPG, 1st with 25.7 APG and 7th in points allowed with 96.5 per game. They dominate teams with a +10 differential, which is tied for best in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors. The Pelicans (8-8) won’t roll over, but it’s going to be an uphill battle for them even rostering arguably the best player in the game right now in Anthony Davis. Look for a slower-paced game as the Warriors will contain the Pelicans, even slowing Davis down from his league averages.

Line: GS -8.5

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, SG, Pelicans ($7,300)
  • Andrew Bogut, C, Warriors ($6,500)
  • Draymond Green, SF, Warriors ($5,600)
  • Andre Iguodala, SF, Warriors  ($4,500)

 

Good luck on Thursday and don’t forget you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy.