The Cavaliers are 5-6 and have a pretty good shot at getting back to .500 today when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats to finish up their 7-game road trip. Hopefully they can end the trip on a high note.
Song Of The Day: Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
Just a good song. No real connection today.
Cleveland Cavaliers (5-6) at Charlotte Bobcats (3-10)
The Bobcats are not very good. Neither are the Cavaliers, but I'm relatively sure that the Cavs are better than the 'Cats. Like the Cavaliers, Charlotte has first round point guard on their roster that gives their fans something to be excited about. Kemba Walker had the prolific college career and all, but he hasn't been quite as effective in the NBA as Cleveland's Kyrie Irving. Also in a weirdly similar way, the Bobcats drafted an athletic shot blocking power foward who is still quite raw on offense. Bismack Biyombo is kind of their version of Tristan Thompson, although he hasn't really gotten many meaningful minutes up to this point. I'm hoping that at some point today the two coaches just say "screw it" and give the fans what we want to see: Bismack and Tristan going at it, blocking each other's shots into the upper deck.
For some reason, Byron Mullens is emerging as a solid NBA player. He's scoring 13 points per game and has been quite active in the paint. He has a team leading PER of 20.4. Yeah, that IS weird. There isn't a whole lot to be afraid of about this team, and quite frankly, I haven't watched a ton of their games. I do know that Charlotte managed to beat the New York Knicks and took the Miami Heat to the brink, so they have the ability to overcome a lack of well, ability, on any given night.
Omri Casspi looked a lot more active in his last game against the Los Angeles Lakers and hopefully he continues to do that today. He was aggressive and attacked the rim rather than just standing in the corner waiting to take an open 3. He was aggressive in high school and at times during his time in Sacramento. That's what we thought we were getting when we traded J.J. Hickson for him and we've barely see it thus far. Alonzo Gee continues to outplay him, but Casspi is still the starter and ought to start playing like it.
Kyrie Irving will look to continue his streak of 20-point games. He's reached the mark in 4 consecutive games and if Byron Scott gives him the proper minutes today, he should keep it going. Meanwhile, Antawn Jamison will try to continue his streak of taking the most horribly awkward shots in the game. I'm willing to bet that he manages to keep that one alive as well.
D.J. Augustin vs. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie shredded the Bobcats last time the two teams faced off, but Augustin also managed to have a pretty solid night offensively. Today, I'll be keeping my eye on how Kyrie plays on the defensive side of the ball. We all know that he's been great on offense,but that's only half of the game. It'd be great to see the rookie clamp down on defense and slow down the Bobcats' backcourt as much as possible.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
I did not think that the Cavaliers would have a .500 record and be contending for a playoff spot at this point in the season. However, it seems that the Cavs will improve to 6-6 today with a MLK Day win over the Bobcats by a score of 113-101.
(Remember, today's game is at 2 PM)