Without G John Wall in the lineup, the Wizards just can’t get any traction. The time is fast-approaching a point where trading leading scorer Bradley Beal (24.6 PPG) might be the only way this team can move forward in the future. Now is the time because he has a team-friendly contract and his value is as high as it will ever be. They have been playing better of late (7-5 in January), but they clearly lack the depth to play with the better teams in the league. They don’t shoot well, struggle on defense and seem to get lost during important stretches almost every game. Injuries have been a huge problem with only three players participating in more than 40 games.
The Cavaliers are looking at 3-year rebuild even if they could score a major free agent. After losing Kyrie Irving and Lebron over the past two seasons, it’s a good bet no one is interested in coming here to play. They will have to rebuild this franchise the old-fashioned way, through the draft. The Cavs are 2-12 during the month of January with the two wins actually coming on the road. They won last out against the equally desperate Chicago Bulls 104-101 in Chicago. With All-star Kevin Love not in the lineup, Jordan Clarkson is leading the team in scoring at 16.5. They have youth on this team but the talent levels are suspect.
Prediction: The analysis of this game is simple. For the Cavs, every loss in January has been by at least 6 points and most of them by blowouts. There is no reason to believe they can outplay Beal and the Wizards. Play Washington -6.5 (score – Washington 116-100)