Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE
The Cleveland Cavaliers return home after a hard fought game against the Memphis Grizzlies. You'd think the Cavs would get a nice long homestand after all of this travel, but you'd be wrong. They are right back on the road again after this game. But for now, let's see what the Cavs and Suns have in store for us tonight.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will finally have another home game. They are 1-9 on the road and 2-2 at home. Somehow, I don't think they are as good or as bad as either of those records indicate.
It's snowing in Boston as I'm writing this. Is it snowing in Cleveland as you're reading it? I doubt it's snowing in Phoenix.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (3-11) vs. Phoenix Suns (6-8)
When? 7:00 PM Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio
Can we still buy tickets? Cleveland Cavaliers tickets
Where can we talk smack to fans of the opposing team but in a respectful manner because we're all a family here at SBNation? Bright Side Of The Sun
Conrad, aren't you sick of finding new songs for every single preview?
Yes, but I do it because I love you and pretend that you guys listen to them.
Good song, right? Weird video though.
Last time the Cavaliers played the Suns, they blew a ridiculous 26-point lead. It was mostly the worst thing ever. Tonight, they get a chance for redemption. Unfortunately, this game comes on the second night of a back-to-back with one of the most physical teams in the NBA (Memphis Grizzlies).
If you haven't totally blocked that last Phoenix game out of your memory, you'll recall that Goran Dragic and Shannon Brown (??!!) did whatever they wanted in the second half. The Cavs stormed out to a huge lead in the first quarter but slowly saw it slip away as they collapsed down the stretch (a rather frequent theme this season). This time around, the Cavs will hope that Shannon Brown doesn't play like Dwyane Wade and that Goran Dragic faces a bit more resistance as he drives to the rim.
The previous encounter with the Suns was obviously disappointing due to the collapse, but it was actually one of Dion Waiters' best games as a pro. He scored 23 points on a super efficient 9 of 13 shooting. While the team was crumbling around him, Waiters was calmly hitting shots to keep Cleveland afloat. Eventually, Marcin Gortat blocked every shot ever (5 blocks) and the Cavs lost. Kyrie Irving wasn't particularly great and his 7 turnovers definitely hurt the Cavs. Fortunately, the Cavaliers won't have Kyrie tonight. Wait, what?
Speaking of Marcin Gortat, he didn't have a big impact offensively in the first meeting between these two teams. The Polish Hammer scored just 12 points and had 8 rebounds. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Anderson Varejao had one of his worse games this year. Coming off a monstrous game against Memphis, we'll see if Varejao can win this matchup more emphatically.
All of those things aside, the thing we will be looking at most this evening is a great battle between two of the best defensive teams in the NBA. What's that you say? They aren't two of the best defensive teams in the NBA? OH OH, they're two of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Well that makes a lot more sense. Yeah, so this game features the 26th and 27th ranked defenses in the entire league. Based on that, I figure that whichever team decides to even sort of stop the other will end up with a victory.
Did you know that Jermaine O'Neal was still in the league? Well he is. And he's on the Suns. And he's scored double figures in his past three games. Just a fun fact.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction
As always, the Cavaliers will need impressive work on the offensive glass from Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao to win the game. Furthermore, they need to limit the easy buckets for the Suns and get a solid performance out of Dion Waiters. When Anderson Varejao is your leading scorer in a game, you probably won't win a whole lot. All in all, I think the Cavs get the win at home, 107-100.