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Kobe Bryant says goodbye to Cleveland

Kobe Bryant says goodbye to Cleveland

The Kobe Bryant farewell tour makes a stop in Cleveland tonight as the Lakers with Kobe Bryant visit “The Quick” for the final time. to face Lebron James and the Cavs. The 11-43 Lakers have started to play some of their best basketball of the year of late, splitting four four games after snapping a 10-game losing streak. Los Angeles has covered seven of ten including four straight. Cleveland has won seven of nine but is just 3-3 as a home favorite under new head coach Tyronn Lue. The line open with Cleveland as a 16-point favorite with the high/low set at 208. At this writing the number is currently -15.5 with the total up a tick to 209.

Even at 37 and in his 19thy season in the league, Kobe Bryant still leads the Lakers in scoring at 16.9 per despite shooting just 35% from the field while playing about 30 minutes a game. While the Lakers are certainly tanking to preserve their guaranteed pick in the upcoming draft, they are getting some encouraging play from their most recent draft picks PF Julius Randle (11.8, 10.0) and PG D’Angelo Russell (12.3, 3.1, 3.3) who finally seems to have flicked the switch. Jordan Clarkson (15.2) and Lou Williams (15.2) are consistent scorers on a team that shoots too many threes and plays erratic defense at best.

The 37-14 Cavaliers are two games clear of Toronto in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland is 7-3 in it’s last 10 games and figures to improve as the team becomes more familiar with the schemes and nuances of new HC Tyronn Lue. The Cavs big three is humming with Lebron James (24.9, 7.1, 6.9 ), Kevin Love (15.8, 10.4, 3.8 ), and Kyrie Irving ( 18.3, 3.1, 3.3 ) playing some of their best ball as a trifecta with all three now just about completely healthy. The Cavs are deep with solid role people up and down the bench and have no excuse not to win home court through the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cleveland has won three of the last four in the series, both teams are off rest and have no significant injuries. This is not a real great spot for either club with a slight lean towards the Lakers. The visitors are on a rugged four games in seven nights swing through the Midwest but their final game before breaking for All-Star weekend so they can leave it on the court. This is the final game of a four game homestand for the Cavs before going on break. The Lakers are 5-3 as a road dog at this level, 12-7 ATS against the East and 5-1 ATS in their L6 vs. winning records. The Cavs are 8-15 ATS this year vs. losing records and seem to play up or down to their opponents. There are no significant trends involving either team as it pertains to the total.

In the end, this seems like a lot of points to be giving with a team with a poor history of covering big numbers. Further, the Lakers have been playing better and have no reason or excuse to not give a 100% effort here. While not playing the game ourselves, we have a slight lean on the dog and the under as Kobe Bryant does battle with Lebron James in Cleveland for the final time.

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