NBA Basketball - Cleveland Cavaliers (-5, 198½) at Washington Wizards 8:00 PM ET
Returning home from a five game road trip that included an important win overtime win over Chicago, Cleveland was melted down in OT by Miami at home. This was the Cavs third consecutive loss at home and drops them into a tie with the Bulls with six games to play. This is especially important since Chicago holds the tiebreaker over Cleveland and would take control of the second slot in the Eastern playoff picture.
Some teams can overcome the loss of a single player in the post-season, though very challenging when it is one of any clubs three best player’s like Caron Butler. But when the hammer drops and eliminates your best player that is just a sign that stronger forces are working against certain teams.
Gilbert Arenas went down with what appeared to be a sprained knee and was later learned to be lateral meniscus tear in his left knee, sideling him for two to three months. "It's very difficult, to lead a conference and be the best team, and then all of a sudden injuries kind of plague the team," captain Antawn Jamison said. "But it's basketball. It's not the first time this has ever happened.”
"It's just difficult for us because we were on the brink of doing something special as far as contending for the best record and really making some noise. Not to say that is too far-fetched now, but the identity of the team is totally different." Washington has fallen from the team with the best record in the East at one juncture, to behind Miami in the Southeast Division and 6th in the conference.
Oddsmakers are assessing the situation about tonight’s televised contest on ESPN starting at 8:05 Eastern. Check out sportsbook.com live odds on this game.
Here are known facts to consider about tonight’s contest. Cleveland is 8-0 ATS on the road playing against a team with a sixty percent or higher winning percent on there home court.
LeBron James club has been special on the road in the second half of the season with a 13-4 ATS record in their last seventeen road outings.
The Wizards will construct a completely different line-up in hopes of compensating for losses of Arenas and Butler. Still no hiding the fact they are 2-8 ATS in recent home games and just 1-4 against the spread as a home underdog they most assuredly will be.
The only saving grace for Washington backers is Cleveland is 5-13-2 ATS when playing without rest.
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