Will this finally be the year LeBron James leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA title? It’s been a good start for the Cavs – they’ve won three of their first four games SU and ATS. The New York Knicks (2-2 SU and ATS) also have to be pleased with their results so far. These two Eastern foes will meet Wednesday night (8:00 PM ET, ESPN) in Cleveland.
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The Cavaliers still aren’t at full strength; point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) and shooting guard Iman Shumpert (wrist) aren’t expected to make their 2015-16 debuts for at least another month, while shooting guard JR Smith (knee) and new back-up centre Sasha Kaun (imminent fatherhood) are day-to-day. Depth isn’t as problematic for Cleveland as it was last year, thanks to a healthy Anderson Varejao at centre and the return of veteran point guard Mo Williams to Ohio.
New York is considerably deeper than last year, as well, thanks to a successful offseason of wheeling and dealing. First-round pick Kristaps Porzingis is already paying dividends at power forward; he and new center Robin Lopez provide defensive balance for small forward Carmelo Anthony, who’s off to a strong start with 27.1 points and a career-high 4.5 assists per 36 minutes.
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