Who? Portland Trail Blazers (21-4) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (9-14)
When? 7:00 PM ET
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio/ NBA League Pass
Trailblazers like to think their shit don't stank. We'll see about that tonight.
Gif of destruction?
But just in case some of you want more, I'll continue.
What to watch for the Cavaliers:
- This game features two of the best young point guards in the game. Kyrie Irving is fresh off receiving Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors, averaging 29 points and 6.3 assists a game. Lillard is off to a pretty solid start to this season. He's improved his three point percentage despite seeing a drop in his FG% and assists. He is a very dynamic player that does a good job making sure that all the weapons that Portland features get their looks. The duel between Irving and Lillard will no doubt be the central story lines for this game.
- The Trailblazers feature a Player of the Week as well. Lamarcus Aldridge won Western Conference Player of the Week honors and will be matched up against fellow former Texas Longhorn Tristan Thompson. Thompson will have his hands full as he goes up against one of the best power forwards in the league. Aldridge can play inside or outside and likes to draw defenders away from the hoop to open up driving lanes for Batum and Lillard. While Aldridge is very good from midrange he is most deadly in the post, if Thompson can force him into settling for midrange jumpers it can help slow down the leagues best offense.
- Can the Cavaliers defend the three point line? Portland features six players that shoot above 38% from three. The Cavaliers have a tendency to lose their man and allow open three point looks. If they want to have a chance against the Blazers they need to deny the pass on the three point line and force the Blazers to settle for long two's. Unfortunately that is a lot easier said than done. But hopefully the two days rest after Saturday night's game vs. Miami gave Mike Brown time to install some new things on defense to make the Blazers night a little more difficult.
What to watch for the Trailblazers:
- Nic Batum would be the perfect fit on this Cavaliers team. He is having a very strong season and is a Cavalier killer. Our small forward platoon will need to dig deep in order to try and contain him.
- Mo Williams playing in Cleveland again. He's returned a few times before. But it always warms my heart to see Mo come back. Never forget:
- Will the Blazers be able to deal with the Cavs bigs? Robin Lopez is a capable defender, but with Meyers Leonard banged up, Andrew Bynum and Anderson Varejao could make things tough for Portland's centers.