Atlanta (4-2) at Cleveland (6-0)
When: Tuesday, November 8th 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NBA TV
The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to make it seven straight to open the season when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. The Cavs nearly lost their perfect mark on Saturday night when they edged the winless Philadelphia 76ers 102-101. LeBron James moved into 10th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on Saturday, passing Hakeem Olajuwon. James also dished out 14 assists and pulled down eight rebounds as the Cavaliers remained the only undefeated team in the NBA. James needed all his 25 points on Saturday to cover an off game from point guard Kyrie Irving, who had a season-low eight points on 3-of-17 shooting. Irving, who leads the team in scoring at an average of 23.0 points, hit multiple 3-pointers in each of the first five games but went 0-of-5 on Saturday. Channing Frye picked up some of the scoring slack with 12 points off the bench and has scored in double figures in each of the last three games. Cleveland, who have played four games at home already, will play six of the next eight at Quicken Loans Arena.
Atlanta snapped a two-game losing streak with a 112-97 win over Houston – their first against a playoff team from last year. Center Dwight Howard, who is off to a good start in his first season with the Hawks, has recorded four-straight double-doubles. Howard scored 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds in Saturday’s win, highlighting an offensive performance that saw all five starters score in double figures while combining to shoot 56.5% from the field. Point guard Dennis Schroder (6-of-14) was the only starter to shoot lower than 50 percent, but made up for it with 12 assists. The 12 assists marked a season-high for Schroder, who is averaging 15 points and 6.5 assists in his first full season as the starter after taking over for the departed Jeff Teague. Hawks reserve PF Mike Muscala is shooting an NBA-best 71% from the floor after his 2-for-3 effort on Saturday.
Cleveland rolled over Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season and will be well rested for this game tonight. Atlanta is ranked in the top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense, but their schedule has been pretty weak. I think this is a relatively small line for this game and I’ll take the home team.
Pick: Cavaliers -8.5