It might be Monday Night football but there will be two good games on tonight in the NBA. First the Cleveland Cavaliers play host to the New Orleans Pelicans at 7 pm. In the 10:30 game on NBA TV the San Antonio Spurs visit the Los Angeles Clippers.
New Orleans Pelicans @ Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers are coming off their best performance of the year in Denver. The Cavs had a season high 25 assists and a season low nine turnovers. LeBron James was more vocal and seemed more engaged from the start of the game. He scored 22 points and dished out 11 assists. After scoring 34 points with zero assists in their previous game, Kyrie Irving scored 12 points and had six assists.
The Cavaliers will have their hands full with up and coming superstar Anthony Davis. Davis leads the league in both rebounds and blocks. The Pelicans are coming off back to back wins against the Hornets and Spurs. The Pelicans are very good on the defensive end, only allowing 95.2 points a game which is good enough for sixth in the league.
Anthony Davis will have a mismatch against Kevin Love or Anderson Varejao. The Cavs will most likely start Varejao on him to keep Love out of foul trouble. Both teams do a good job of attacking the offensive glass so it will be interesting to see if either team can capitalize on some fast break opportunities.
The Pelicans have the X-factor in Ryan Anderson coming off the bench to stretch the defense. The key factor for the Cavaliers will be their ability to hit three pointers. They have not done a great job of hitting three pointers this season. The Cavs will have a hard time attacking the basket with Davis and Asik in the paint.
The Pelicans need an aggressive game from both Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday. Evans will have his hands full on the other end trying to guard LeBron but he must attack on the offensive end just to get keep LeBron from wandering around on defense. Holiday is always better when he is aggressive off the pick & roll. He is one of the better defensive guards in the league and will make Kyrie earn every basket.
The Pelicans will keep it close but Kevin Love will have a great game and lead the Cavs to their first home win of the season.
San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Clippers 10:30 (NBA TV)
The defending champs have not looked great this season. They are on a two game losing streak and are starting a four game road trip. Kawhi Leonard has not looked great and claims he’s not 100% yet.
The Clippers may have a 4-2 record but they have not been impressive. They are dead last in rebounding and they give up 103.8 points per game. They had a good win against the Blazers but they have a lot of things to work on.
The Spurs will still be without Marco Belinelli, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills. This should be a game where Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan dominate the boards. Blake is only averaging 6.3 rebounds per game.
Both teams are rested but I give the edge to the home team. Chris Paul and Tony Parker will have a great duel but Griffin and Jordan will lead the way for the Clippers.