The Cleveland Cavaliers finally dropped a game after winning six in a row. Tonight, they'll look to start another winning streak when they host the Washington Wizards. It will be tougher than normal, however, The Cavs will be without Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, and Anderson Varejao again. Those are three very important players. I'd be very surprised if the Cavs win many games without those guys.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (22-34) vs Washington Wizards (27-28)
When? 6:00 PM Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Let's talk about the playoffs. Playoffs!? Yeah, playoffs. The Cavs are 4 and a half games out of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Actually, the Cavs are 4 and a half games out of the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference because the Charlotte Bobcats, Atlanta Hawks, and Brooklyn Nets are all tied. It's going to be really hard for the Cavs to make up those 4 and a half games in their final 26 games. The schedule gets a lot harder too. So if they're really going to make a push, they need to win every game against mediocre opponents. The Wizards are a mediocre opponent.
I think we're still waiting to see how good this Cavaliers team actually can be. The first part of the year was obviously a train wreck. The Cavs spent a lot of time and energy trying to learn how to play with Andrew Bynum and then Andrew Bynum was gone. Then the Cavs traded for Luol Deng and they were really horrible for a good while right after he joined the team. And then they fired general manager Chris Grant and went on a 6-game winning streak. Then some guys got hurt and new general manager David Griffin traded for Spencer Hawes. That's not very much continuity. I don't know if we'll get to see this team really hit its stride this season. But with 26 games left, it will be interesting to see what they can pull off. I doubt they make the playoffs at this point, but I'm okay with that. If they put together a nice end to the season, I'll be pretty excited going forward.
Ending the season strong is basically what the Washington Wizards did last year. And now they've built on that a little bit this season. Some of their players regressed or got hurt like Emeka Okafor and Martell Webster. Some of them got better like Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal. I don't think any Wizards fans would argue with me if I say that they need a new head coach, but they've clearly got a nice thing going over there. John Wall is in his fourth season and he's going to make his playoff debut this year. Kyrie Irving would like to follow that next year (assuming they don't make it this year). We'll see if they can build up some momentum before the draft and free agency.
I'm excited to see what Spencer Hawes can do tonight. He played on Friday night, but barely knew what he was doing out there. Now he has one practice and another shoot around under his belt. Hopefully we'll get a better glimpse at what he can add to this team.
I know that the offense is going to struggle without Waiters, Miles, and Varejao. So I'll be focusing on if they are moving the ball around like they need to be in order to have success. And, of course, I'll be focusing on how they defend. The Wizards take a lot of corner threes, so that will be a major key to winning this game.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction
I think the injuries for the Cavs will just be too much. Wizards take this one 96-87.