I really want to see the Cavs win a game. But if they don't win, it's not the end of the world. Did you see what I did just there? Because the world was supposed to end today, but it didn't. It's a joke about the Mayan apocalypse. That's the joke. Get it? Yeah, you get it.
When? 7:30 PM Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Can we get tickets before the world ends? Cleveland Cavaliers tickets
What's the line? Indiana -4.0
Okay, so what's on tap for this game? Well, the Cavaliers have lost a bunch of games in a row and just can't seem to get a consistent effort for a full 48 minutes. The defense is usually garbage and the offense goes through unnecessarily long droughts. Tonight, they play one of the better defensive teams in the NBA in the Pacers. So that should be fun.
If you recall the last time the Cavaliers played the Pacers, the Cavs scored just 23 points in the second half. It was super super embarrassing and made my eyes bleed. I'll be positive and say that it can't be worse, right?
Kyrie Irving will probably have to shoulder much of the offensive load (like every night) and there's a good chance that Anderson Varejao doesn't play tonight. He sat out the last game against the Boston Celtics with a sore knee and Byron Scott has hinted at the idea of resting him again this weekend. Because if Varejao isn't 100%, why bother playing him? Don't risk further injury on a game against the Pacers in December when you're 5-22.
As Sam wrote yesterday, there are some really interesting things going on with Tyler Zeller's offense and he seemed to have a pretty solid game against the Celtics. However, many of his points came on jump shots. He had a very good post game in college, so it'd be good to see him mix it up down low some more. Although Roy Hibbert and David West aren't exactly the best opponents if you're still adjusting to the physicality and size of the NBA.
Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson are the other two guys that we're always watching closely. Dion needs to learn to finish better and take fewer jump shots. Tristan has been making some nice, smooth, decisive moves to the basket recently, but just hasn't been able to get them to go down. If he telegraphs his moves tonight, Roy Hibbert might end up with 15058 blocks.
If I were to pinpoint a key player for each team this game, I'd go with David West and C.J. Miles. David West has the ability to mix it up down low and step out and nail the 17 foot jumper in his sleep. The Cavs should probably try to stop him tonight. I guess that will be Tristan's job. As far as Miles is concerned, the Cavaliers need something from him offensively. When Kyrie and Dion were out, CJ was going crazy and provided that scoring threat that the Cavs needed. But against Boston he was invisible. If CJ shows up, the Cavs have a shot. (Did I really just write that sentence?)
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Cavaliers are winning this game. I guarantee it. If I'm wrong, you get your money back. Cavs 95-87.