The Cavs are sitting in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference as we pump the breaks for the NBA All-Star Break this weekend.
The battle for the East is between the Raptors, the Celtics, the Cavs, —and surprisingly— the Wizards, Bucks, Pacers, and Heat are all within a game or two of each other—and the Cavs— for those 3rd and 4th seeds.
Question number one is: can any of those teams hang down the stretch?
Question number two is: the Cavs host the Thunder this Tuesday while on three-win-run. Osman’s ‘brand of hustle’ Hill’s front-court defensive presence seems to be working out … is this what we can expect, instant gelling or will we see some post-All-Star-Break team dynamics issues with all of the new faces?
One thing’s for sure, LeBron looks pumped-up; the team looks pumped-up! After taking down the Celtics shortly after all of the trade shenanigans, you could see the excited looks, and hear the excited expletives coming from Korver and Smith … and this is a good thing.
It’s a five-pronged attack of NBA awesome over the weekend. We have the Rising Stars Game on Friday, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the 3-Point Shootout, the Slam-Dunk Contest all on Saturday, and the game itself (led by Captains, Lebron James and Steph Curry) on Sunday.
Odds have been released for the favorites to win the Three-Point Contest and the Dunk Contest but make sure to check Bookmaker in the next couple of days to see who is favored to win the Skills Challenge and the points total for All-Star Game on Sunday. Hint: it’s usually pretty freakin’ high!
The King of Swish
Klay Thompson leads the way at 2 to 1 (+200) to drop the most three, followed by Eric Gordon at 4 to 1, Devin Booker at 5.5 to 1 and Paul George at 6 to 1. Kyle Lowry and Tobias Harris bring up the rear at 8.5 to 1 and 10 to 1 respectively.
The King of Slam
It’s a short list and the odds are fairly tight. Dennis Smith Jr. is the odds-on favorite at +175 (1.75 to 1). Donovan Mitchell and brand-new Cavalier, Larry Nance Jr. round out the middle at +225 and +275, and Victor Oladipo comes in as the ‘long-shot’ at +450.
Kings of the Hard-Court
This is going to be REALLY interesting. It’s —with the exception of Kyrie Irving— size and strength vs. agility.
Three Forward set (almost two center) on Team Lebron vs. a Three Guard set with Team Stephen. The ranginess of Durant, the strength Cousins and Davis, and sheer athletic ability of James is going put a heavy price on inside scoring for Team Steph. That said, Cousins and Davis could get hit with some serious mid-range shot and three-pointer mismatches that could tilt the game back over towards Team Curry.
Possible Starting Matchups:
- Irving vs. Curry
- Davis vs. Embiid
- George vs. Antetokounmpo
- Durant vs. Harden
- James vs. DeRozan
Though I think we’ll see a lot of James vs. the Greek Freak with Davis in a zone.
Another thing that will be at least as interesting as a season finale of Days of our Lives, will be the fact that Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant are all on the same team —please, god, let them all be on court at the same time for at least a few minutes. I’m sure some props odds will come out on how they interact with each other. I mean … would Westbrook pass the ball to K.D.?
This is going to be great!