Washington (6-8) at Cleveland (13-4)
When: Tuesday, December 1st 2015
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NBA TV
The struggling Washington Wizards bring their four-game losing streak into Cleveland tonight to face the East-leading Cavaliers. Washington looked as if they were turning things around with a three-game winning streak in the middle of November, but have since lost four in a row and have looked bad in the process. They haven’t scored more than 87 points in their last three games and now the locker room might be getting a little rocky. Wizards center Marcin Gortat told reporters “We’ve got to cut the negativity that we have coming from players, coaches, staff, media. We just got to cut that.” Gortat seems to be doing his part on the court with 16 points and 10 rebounds in his last game giving him two double-doubles in the last three games. Washington G John Wall went 6-of-25 from the field in Saturday’s loss and is committing 4.3 turnovers a game this season. Leading scorer Bradley Beal is back from injury and has scored at least 16 points in his last three games, but he has 8 turnovers in the last two contests. The Wizards had high expectations coming into this season, but now sit in dead-last in the Southeast Division.
One team that isn’t struggling is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They lead the Eastern Conference by a game and a half over Indiana and come into tonight’s contest with a perfect 9-0 record at home. Cleveland guard J.R. Smith scored in double figures in seven straight games before struggling to 3-of-12 from the field in Saturday’s 90-88 win over Brooklyn, but contributed four blocks and three steals. Smith is 1-of-9 from 3-point range in the last two games after knocking down at least three from beyond the arc in each of the previous five. Forward Kevin Love is in top form right now, shooting 57.5 percent from the field, including 55.3 percent from 3-point range in the last five games. LeBron James has some of his lowest shooting percentages in years, but he doesn’t have to be the main guy anymore on this terrific Cavaliers squad. Cleveland have won five of six overall and are ranked 6th in the NBA in both points scored and points allowed per game.
This point spread seems a little too high for me. I know the Wizards are struggling, but Cleveland seems to play better against tougher opponents. The Cavaliers will win this game, but not cover.
Pick: Wizards +9.5