The San Antonio Spurs have won six straight and are peaking at just the right time. Now they’re trying to hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder, who they lead by a half game for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Cleveland Cavaliershave welcomed back Kyrie Irving and pulled off a stunning win over the New York Knicks at home on Friday, but are 5-15 in their last 20 games.
Cavaliers Spurs Betting
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 22, 2012
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Southwest
Cleveland Cavaliers (21-41): Irving has played two games since returning from a sprained right shoulder. The Rookie of the Year candidate has averaged 15.0 points and 3.5 assists and coach Byron Scott continues to gradually increase his minutes as the season concludes. The Cavaliers are a different team with Irving on the floor, although they are still wounded. Center Anderson Varejao has been shut down for the season because his fractured right wrist has been slow to heal.
San Antonio Spurs (46-16): Coach Gregg Popovich called the Spurs’ 121-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday “just a small step,” but it’s clear that the Spurs are the hottest team entering the playoffs. Now if they can settle on someone like Tiago Splitter as the secondary big man to Tim Duncan, they will have patched their only remaining hole. Splitter has been inconsistent, following up a 17-point effort in a win at Sacramento by scoring just four points and grabbing six rebounds against the Lakers. Popovich continues to mix and match bigs like Splitter, DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner and Boris Diaw, but Splitter seems to have the best chance at complementing Duncan in the postseason.
1. The Spurs are sixth in the league in defensive rebounding, averaging 32.4 per game. The Cavaliers are fourth in offensive boards at 12.7.
2. Danny Green, who was drafted by the Cavaliers in the second round, scored 19 points against them and led a 35-point Spurs’ victory at Cleveland on April 3.
3. Danny Ferry, the former Cleveland GM who constructed the team into a contender around LeBron James, is now an assistant in the front office in San Antonio.
PREDICTION: Spurs 103, Cavaliers 89. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$