It’s been a long, long week. We commend you for bearing with us during this trying time, but guess what?
The second half of the NBA season kicks off with a Thursday sixer, with all of your beloved teams like the Warriors, Cavs, Thunder, Wizards, and 76ers set to play. Get back on that grind with the information you’ve grown to love from our hoop-heads, and make some big bucks before March Madness comes around. — Mark Gallant
All info as of Thursday morning. Check back during the day and keep an eye on our Twitter handle for any updates.
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The Main Events
WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (-5.5) | O/U: 221
8 p.m. ET | TNT
What the metrics say: The new Cavs lineups haven’t been world-beaters defensively, allowing an average of 113.4 points per 100 possessions (10th percentile), but they have blitzed opponents on the offensive end. They’ve averaged 125.1 points/100, and the two main ones have been ruthlessly efficient, ranking in the 97th to 99th percentile in Offensive Rating, effective field-goal percentage, and turnover rate. The main lineup of George Hill-JR Smith-LeBron James-Cedi Osman-Tristan Thompson has dominated to the tune of a +12.8 net rating. Swap out Hill and Osman for Kyle Korver and Jeff Green, and things are even better (+21.2 net rating and 136.6 ORtg). LeBron with the ball in his hands — something that didn’t happen as much with Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, and Dwyane Wade in town — surrounded by four shooters remains an impossible team to defend. The Cavs need to get better defensively, sure, but some nights it may not matter. — Bryan Mears