I don't want to say that the broken leg suffered by Cavs center Andrew Bogut just 58 seconds into his Cleveland debut earlier this week is going to shape who wins the NBA Finals, but that will hurt LeBron James & Co. If there's one thing that team is missing, it's rim protection. Tristan Thompson is OK, but Kevin Love plays out on the perimeter. The Cavs are thin with bigs behind them, and of course Love is already hurt. Bogut remains a good defender, passer and rebounder. Perhaps ironically, a Bogut injury was also the one main Achilles' heel on the Warriors, his former team. Bogut played the first four games of last year's NBA Finals and Golden State was up 3-1 on Cleveland. He was hurt in Game 5 and the Warriors didn't win again. Bogut, by the way, made $400,000 for his 58 seconds of action as he's obviously done for the season. Cleveland will try to find another big man out there for some insurance. It could bring back Anderson Varejao or look to someone like Larry Sanders or Jared Sullinger.
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Cavaliers at Pistons ( +4, 214)
This could be a first-round playoff preview. Detroit was in Indiana on Wednesday. The Pistons can't afford to rest anyone in the second of a back-to-back as they are battling for a playoff spot. Cleveland lost a second straight to Miami on Monday, 106-98 at home. Kyrie Irving scored 32 and James had 30 points and 17 rebounds in the loss. Bogut was on the perimeter guarding Miami's Okaro White, whose knee connected with the center's lower leg. The Aussie could be seen mouthing to teammates that his leg was broken. Cleveland and Detroit have split two meetings this season. The Pistons have lost five of their past seven at home in the series.
Key trends: The favorite is 4-1 against the spread in the past five meetings. The "over/under" has gone under in four of those five.
Early lean: Cavs and under.
Clippers at Grizzlies (-3.5, 208)
Los Angeles was in Minnesota on Wednesday. Memphis dropped a third in a row Monday and it was easily the team's worst defeat of the year, 122-109 at home to Brooklyn. "I don't know what to say," said reserve forward Zach Randolph, who pretty much said it all. The Grizzlies allowed the Nets to shoot 53 percent. Mike Conley led Memphis with 32 points, his eighth 30-point game this season. It's the final meeting between the Clippers and Grizzlies, with Los Angeles leading 2-1.
Key trends: The Clippers are 5-13 ATS in the past 18 meetings. The over is 4-0 in the Grizzlies' past four.
Early lean: Grizzlies and over.
Spurs at Thunder (+3.5, 212)
First TNT game. Could see a key San Antonio guy or two sit here in the second of a back-to-back (hosted Kings), although the Spurs now have a realistic shot of catching Golden State for the West's top seed. Not sure Gregg Popovich cares, though. Oklahoma City lost a fourth straight Tuesday, 126-121 despite Russell Westbrook's career-high 58 points. He missed four shots in the final 83 seconds that could have tied the game or given the Thunder the lead. Westbrook put it up 39 times overall. Victor Oladipo returned from a six-game injury absence and had 16 points. San Antonio won the first meeting with OKC, 108-94 on Jan. 31. Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and helped hold Westbrook scoreless in the fourth quarter. He had 27 points, 14 assists and six rebounds.
Key trends: The Spurs are 3-8 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The over is 6-1 in the Thunder's past seven at home.
Early lean: Thunder and over.
76ers at Trail Blazers (-10, 221)
Philadelphia lost 112-98 at home to Milwaukee on Monday. Justin Anderson tied his career high with 19 points for Philadelphia, which has lost five of six. Jahlil Okafor (knee) sat his second straight game. Portland was an upset winner in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, 126-121, for a third consecutive victory. Allen Crabbe scored 23 points, Damian Lillard had 22 and C.J. McCollum 21 for the Trail Blazers, who shot 55 percent. Philadelphia defeated Portland, 93-92, at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 20. Robert Covington made a game-winning 3-point field goal with 4.5 remaining. The 76ers are looking for a sweep of the Trail Blazers for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Key trends: The 76ers are 0-4 ATS in their past four following a double-digit home loss. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 5-0 in the Blazers' past five.
Early lean: Blazers and over.
Lakers at Suns (-7, 231)
Second TNT game. L.A. dropped its eighth in a row Tuesday, 122-111 in Dallas - nearly backdoor covering with a meaningless 12-2 run to close the game. The Lakers outscored Dallas 37-19 in the fourth quarter. Julius Randle had a triple-double of 13 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss. Phoenix's three-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday in a 131-127 home loss to Washington. Eric Bledsoe scored 30 points for the Suns, who erased a 22-point first-half deficit late in the fourth quarter. Devin Booker scored 25 for the Suns, nine in the final 21 seconds.The Suns have won two of the first three meetings this season, including a 36-point victory in the last meeting on Feb. 15 -- the Suns' largest in series history. Thus if Phoenix wins here, that's a crucial tiebreaker in the Lakers' favor should the teams finish with the same record in terms of L.A. being able to keep its 2017 first-round pick.
Key trends: The home team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 4-0 in the previous four.
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