Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Point Spread Pick from Will Rogers: January 15th 2018

| January 15, 2018

Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Point Spread Pick: GS -5.5 (January 15th 2018)
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The set-up: The Cleveland Cavaliers’ lost 99-92 at Oracle Arena to Golden State on Christmas Day and will welcome the Warriors to Quicken Loans Arena on MLK Day, having lost seven of nine beginning the that defeat. Cleveland was blasted by a total of 62 points in losses at Minnesota and Toronto, before going into Indiana this past Friday and building a 22-point lead in the first quarter only to fall 97-95. The Cavs return home on a three-game slide and need to put their internal griping aside and get some stops on the defensive end against the Warriors, who are enjoying a string of 12 straight road wins, as well as owning the NBA’s best overall record at 35-9.

Golden State: The Warriors nearly squandered a 27-point halftime lead at Toronto on Saturday but held on to earn a 127-125 win on the second night of a back-to-back. “Obviously, we wanted to extend that, keep that lead, but they’re a good team, and it’s hard to win on the road in the NBA,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson told ESPN.com. “It doesn’t matter who you play, and they have a great home crowd. A win is a win, especially on a back-to-back.” What Thompson didn’t point out but I will is the fact that Golden State’s stumbles have come at home this season, where the Warriors have gone a ‘human-like’ 16-6. However, the etam’s 12 straight road wins gives them a 19-3 record away from home, where they are averaging 118.0 PPG and winning by a margin of 9.9 PPG. Curry (ankle) came back from a two-game absence on Saturday and scored 24 points while adding six rebounds and nine assists. Curry (27.8-5.2-6.5) sat out the meeting with the Cavaliers on Christmas with an ankle injury and was the only player that might have been well-rested in Toronto, which marked the Warriors’ third game in four nights and seventh in 11 days. Kevin Durant (26.2-7.0-5.2)  played in each of the last three games but is not showing any fatigue while shooting 64.3 percent from the floor and 58 percent from three-point range in that span.

Cleveland: The Cavs’ meltdown at Indiana came just as the team is preparing to host the Warriors on national TV. “We have enough talent here to get over that hump and make good things happen,” forward Kevin Love told reporters. “But right now it’s just tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is there and, this being my fourth year here, we will get out of it and we will get better.” Head coach Tyronn Lue cryptically talked to reporters about the need to get rid of “agendas” on the team after a 133-99 loss in Toronto on Thursday but was trying to look at the positives after the loss in Indiana. “It was a great effort,” Lue told reporters. “With (Dwyane Wade) out and (Isaiah Thomas) out. Guys may have been a little tired, but I thought we fought and played with the right purpose, defensively especially. We’ve just got to continue to build off that.” Thomas, who is sitting out back-to-backs after coming off a hip injury, is expected to play on Monday and is hoping for a better performance after going 2-of-15 for four points at Toronto. JR Smith is 4-of-22 from the floor, including 1-of-12 from three-point range, in the last three games. LBJ (27.1-8.0-8.8) is always a stud and one can’t complain much about Love (19.2 & 9.6). However, IT is hardly ready for prime time, as while he sat out the Indiana game, he was a combined 5 of 16 from the floor (including 1 of 11 on threes), in the blowout losses at Minnesota and Toronto

The pick: The Warriors have taken six of the last seven games against the Cavs, including a  five-game win in the NBA Finals last spring. How can the Cavs beat the Warriors with a defense that allows 108.5 PPG (25th) on 47.1% shooting (24th). The Warriors own the NBA’s top scoring team (115.8 PPG) and its best shooting team, ranking first in FG percentage (51.0), three-point percentage (38.9) and FT percentage (81.5), as well as owning the second-best defensive FG percentage (43.7). Lay it with the Warriors.

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