Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the road once again. This time, they travel to Memphis where they take on the team that has been sitting at the top of recent power rankings. Can the Cavs pull off the upset?
The Cleveland Cavaliers apparently pissed off the schedule makers. You know what would be cool? Let's have this super young, rebuilding team go on the road for 10 of their first 14 games and play the Heat, Clippers, Thunder, Nets, Bulls, and Sixers. Cool sounds like fun. Oh and then they get to go play the Grizzlies too. Don't worry, we'll make it up to them in February.
I only assume that's how the conversation went. It's a little bit absurd. I know it's all random or whatever, but the schedule is certainly not doing the Cavs any favors. Without their star Kyrie Irving, the Cavs fought admirably against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat in their back to back, but still came away with two losses. I may be a hopeless homer, but I firmly believe this team is better than 3-10. I think we'll start to see that when they get healthy and the schedule eases up. But for now, this is what we're dealing with.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (3-10) at Memphis Grizzlies (9-2)
When? 8:00 PM Eastern
Where? FedEx Forum -- Memphis, TN
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio/ NBA League Pass
Tickets? Cleveland Cavaliers Tickets
Enemy blog: Straight Outta Vancouver
I was reading through my Twitter timeline today and stumbled upon this tweet. I think it pretty much perfectly frames this game between the Cavs and Grizz.
That's the problem with this game -- the Grizzlies have a mismatch at virtually every single position. Mike Conley has certainly developed into a high quality point guard and has an advantage over former Grizzly Jeremy Pargo. Tony Allen has the ability to shut down most perimeter scorers and should give Dion Waiters fits. Rudy Gay is too big and too athletic for Alonzo Gee. And in the front court, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph should eliminate the Cavs' usual advantage on the boards and bludgeon Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller with their size and strength.
So, why should we be optimistic about this game? On paper, you shouldn't be. But then again, there was no reason to expect the Cavs to give the Heat such a scare in their 110-108 loss. While we all thought that the Cavs would be "virtually unwatchable" without Kyrie Irving, that simply hasn't been the case. They've fought hard in all three of their games and are improving in most of the critical areas. They're even getting production off the bench. Again, I expect to lose big against the Grizzlies, but Byron Scott has these guys playing hard and with the confidence that they can compete against anybody. That's good to see and hopefully it carries over once Kyrie gets back and the schedule lightens up.
That's pretty much all I have for this one.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
This is a horrible matchup for the Cavs and it's on the road. The Grizzlies are destroying teams right now and this one should be no different. Grizzlies with 105-91.