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Hornets coach Steve Clifford to take leave of absence to address health

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hornets coach Steve Clifford will be away from the team for an undetermined period of time to deal with a “health issue.”

The team made the announcement Wednesday in a release.

The 56-year-old Clifford missed Monday night’s game against Orlando because he was not feeling well. Associate head coach Stephen Silas filled in for Clifford against the Magic.

Clifford has battled heart problems in the past, but a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press the issue was not heart-related. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not released details of Clifford’s health issue.

The team said there is no timetable for Clifford’s return and that officials would have no further comment.

Silas will continue to coach the team with Clifford out. The Hornets fell to Golden State 101-87 on Wednesday night.

“I just want to send him my best wishes,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Obviously I have been through some issues, and I don’t know what his health issues are, but it’s no fun. I’m wishing him well and I hope he gets back on the sideline soon. But more importantly I hope that he’s healthy.”

If the players know what is wrong with Clifford, they aren’t saying.

“I feel like Cliff is one of those guys, no matter what is going on his life, he’s always going to be here,” Hornets forward Marvin Williams said. “So for him to not be here now is a little bit concerning. I have texted back and forth with him a couple of times and he’s texted back every time. He seems in good spirits. Whatever is going on with him, I’m sure he’s fine. If he has to step away to make sure he’s OK, that’s what is most important.”

Williams said the team has confidence in Silas.

“We will continue to follow his lead,” Williams said.

Clifford underwent a procedure in 2013 — his first year as Charlotte’s head coach — to have two stents placed in his heart, but he returned to coaching just three days later. The procedure came after Clifford began experiencing chest pain while eating at a Charlotte restaurant and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Clifford has since changed his diet and has been eating healthier.

The Hornets were playing well at home under Clifford, but they are just 9-13 overall heading into Wednesday night’s game. They have struggled on the road, where they are 1-10 this season despite the play of All-Star Kemba Walker. The point guard is turning in another impressive season, averaging 22.7 points and 6.3 assists per game.

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with ‘health …

STEVE REED | Associated Press

Dec 6, 2017 10:07 AM ET

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with ‘health …

STEVE REED | Associated Press

Dec 6, 2017 10:07 AM ET

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with ‘health issue’

STEVE REED | Associated Press

Dec 6, 2017 10:07 AM ET

Hornets vs. Warriors odds: Picks from computer model on 33-18 NBA run

The Golden State Warriors are unbeaten through four games of their six-game road trip but will be without Stephen Curry when they take on the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday in a nationally televised matchup at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN). The Warriors are five-point road favorites.

The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 215.5, down sharply from the open of 219.5.

Before picking either side of the spread, you need to see what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say. This model would have won over 96 percent of CBS Sports office pools in football last season and has put together a blistering 33-18 run on its top-rated NBA point spread picks this season by simulating each game 10,000 times.

Now, the model has examined every matchup, every player and every trend in Warriors-Hornets and locked in against-the-spread, Over-Under and money-line picks.

We can tell you that the computer says the over hits in just 52 percent of simulations. The public is backing the over almost two-thirds of the time, so tread lightly before you do, too. But what about against the spread?

The defending NBA champion Warriors are 19-6 and have won their last three games by 21 points (at Orlando), 28 (at Miami) and 10 (at New Orleans), scoring at least 123 points in all four games of the current road trip.

But Curry sprained his ankle in Monday’s win over the Pelicans and left the arena on crutches. He’s expected to miss at least two weeks. Curry led the team in scoring (26.3 points per game) and his plus/minus of 11.5 ranks second in the NBA behind Eric Gordon of the Rockets.

If there’s a team that can survive the loss of such a star, it’s the Warriors, who have three more of them to fall back on in Kevin Durant (24.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists per game), Klay Thompson (20.5 ppg) and Draymond Green (10.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 7.1 apg).

The Hornets, meanwhile, snapped a four-game losing streak on Monday with a 104-94 win over the Magic. Leading scorer Kemba Walker returned from a two-game absence to pour in 29 points, plus seven assists, three steals and two rebounds.

Charlotte has been a team of streaks this season. Since Oct. 29, it has won three in a row, lost six straight, won three straight and lost four straight before Monday’s win. 

Each team had a player scuffle in Monday night victories to boot. Kevin Durant was tossed after getting two technical fouls following an altercation with the Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins. It was the second time Durant’s been tossed during this four-game road trip.

And Cody Zeller was thrown to the ground by Orlando’s Marreese Speights, who cited a 40-14 free-throw discrepancy in favor of the Hornets. 

Does a new streak begin tonight for the Hornets, or will Golden State continue its own road win streak without their MVP leader? The SportsLine Projection Model’s picks are in. Visit SportsLine now to see the strong point-spread pick for Warriors-Hornets, all from the model that has absolutely crushed the NFL and is 33-18 on NBA picks.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford away for ‘immediate future’ to address health issues

A few hours before the Charlotte Hornets took on the Orlando Magic Monday night, it was announced that Steve Clifford would not be coaching due to an illness. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that whatever Charlotte’s coach is dealing with is not a short-term problem. The Hornets announced on Wednesday morning that Clifford will be stepping away from the team for the “immediate future” to deal with a health issue. They did not give a timetable for his return. Via NBA.com/Hornets:

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that Head Coach Steve Clifford will be away from the team for the immediate future to address his health. Currently, there is no timetable for his return. Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas will serve as acting head coach. Out of respect for Clifford’s privacy, the Hornets will have no further comment at this time.

Stephen Silas, who served as head coach against Orlando, will remain in charge during Clifford’s absence. Silas has been in the league as a scout or assistant coach since 1999, and has served as an assistant with the Hornets since 2010. 

Hopefully whatever Clifford is dealing with isn’t a serious issue and he’s able to rejoin the Hornets soon. 

Charlotte Hornets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers odds: Computer model that’s 24-9 makes picks

Hampered by injuries and inconsistent play at the beginning of the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now 11-7 and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics, Pistons and Raptors. Fortunes might be turning around for Cleveland, which has won six straight and faces the Charlotte Hornets at home Friday night.

The Cavs are 5.5-point home favorites, down half-a-point from the opening line. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is at 220.5, down slightly from the opening of 221.5. 

Before you make any bets on this NBA showdown, especially one featuring two streaking teams, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model is picking. 

The projection model, which simulates each game 10,000 times, is a blistering 24-9 on its top-rated NBA point-spread picks this season.

SportsLine’s computer has also been crushing football. It went an amazing 174-80-2 on straight-up NFL picks last season — better than all 98 experts tracked by NFLPickWatch. SportsLine computer picks also would have won over 96 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool Manager leagues that made straight-up picks last season. 

The model has examined every matchup, every player and every trend in Friday night’s Hornets-Cavaliers game and locked in against-the-spread and over-under picks. 

We can tell you that while just 41 percent of the public is picking the under, the simulations project it hits 65 percent of the time, a massive difference. And it also has a strong pick for one side of the spread.

The model has taken into account Cleveland’s injury-plagued roster. But the Cavs have been playing extremely well lately, winning their past six games.

LeBron James is averaging 27 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists during the Cavs’ six-game win streak, while Kevin Love is averaging 19.8 points and 11.6 rebounds.

The Hornets have also recently been playing well, winning three straight, but will be without guard Nicolas Batum on Friday night.

The Cavs have dominated this series, winning nine of the past 10 meetings against the Hornets.

But just because Cleveland has performed well against Charlotte doesn’t mean it covers a 5.5-point spread, especially at home. The Cavs are 0-4-1 against the spread in their past five games at home and are just 7-14-2 against the spread in their last 23 games.

So what side of Hornets-Cavaliers do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Hornets-Cavaliers you should be all over Friday night, all from the model on a blistering 24-9 run in NBA picks, and find out.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Charlotte Hornets odds, picks from proven computer model

Hampered by injuries and inconsistent play on the defensive end, the Cleveland Cavaliers are just 7-7 on the season, in third place in the Central Division behind the Pistons and Bucks.

But fortunes may be turning around. They’ve won two straight and end a four-game road trip on Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets.

The Cavs are a two-point road favorites, a huge change from the opening line, when they were 6.5-point underdogs. The Over/Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is at 219.5, up slightly from the opening of 218.

The money line is Cleveland -130, meaning you’d need to risk $130 to win $100 on the Cavs straight-up.

Before you make any bets on this NBA showdown, especially one featuring such a dramatic swing in the point spread, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model is picking. 

The projection model, which simulates each game 10,000 times, is on a blistering NBA run right now, going 14-3 in its last 17 A-rated picks.

SportsLine’s computer has also been crushing football. It went an amazing 174-80-2 on straight-up NFL picks last season — better than all 98 experts tracked by NFLPickWatch. SportsLine computer picks also would have won over 96 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool Manager leagues that made straight-up picks last season.

The model has examined every matchup, every player, and every trend in Wednesday’s nationally televised Cavaliers-Hornets matchup and locked in against-the-spread, Over-Under, and money-line picks.

We can tell you that while just 42 percent of the public is picking the Over, the simulations believe it hits 61 percent of the time, a massive difference. And it also has a strong pick for one side of the spread.

The model has taken into account the absence of Cavs guard Derrick Rose, out for the fourth game in a row from a sprained ankle. But Cleveland has been playing better of late. In fact, with Rose out of the lineup, the team is 3-1.

LeBron James is averaging 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists during the three-game road trip, while Kevin Love is averaging 17.3 points and 9 rebounds.

The Hornets appear to be going in the other direction. Charlotte was a pleasant surprise, winning four of five after dropping its season-opener.

But the Hornets are now mired in a four-game losing streak and are 5-7 on the season. They are a different team at home, however, with a solid 4-1 record.

Nicholas Batum will make his debut Wednesday night for the Hornets. He’ll join Kemba Walker, who is averaging 21.7 points and 6.6 assists, and 14-year veteran Dwight Howard, who is having a career resurgence in his first year in Charlotte. His 14.4 points per game average are his best since 2014-15, and his 13.2 rebounds are his best since 2011-12.

So what side of Cavaliers-Hornets do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see the strong point-spread winner of Hornets vs. Cavaliers, all from the model that is on a hot NBA streak and has absolutely crushed the NFL, and find out.




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