A lot has happened this week. Jarrett Jack doesn't pass in late game situations, even if he's inbounding, the Cavs have lost two straight, Kyrie Irving was named the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference All Star team, Kyrie was also invited to the Team USA Olympic camp. While the individual accolades are great and deserved, the Cavs really need to start taking advantage of these home games to turn the ship around.
Who: Milwaukee Bucks (8-33) at Cleveland Cavaliers (15-27)
When: 7:30 pm ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Please don't let me down.
Keys to the game
- Get off to a good start. Against the Mavericks and Bulls the Cavs found themselves facing significant deficits. While they battled back in both instances, it simply gives your opponent too much hope/ confidence when you let them hang around in a road game. While the Cavs certainly are capable of putting up terrible games and playing to a level that is way less than the sum of it's parts, they are still a much more talented team than the Bucks. They can't take them lightly and play down to their level, they need to strike early and crush any hope the Bucks had of stealing this game.
- Larry Sanders and OJ Mayo both missed the Bucks last game, a 109-104 victory over Detroit. It's unclear whether or not they will play tonight, but the fact the team was able to beat Detroit without their starting center and best scorer off the bench shows how dangerous it is to take teams lightly in the NBA. These guys are pros with pride. The Cavaliers have accomplished nothing, they don't deserve to feel like they are better than any team in this league. They must have a sense of urgency every game from here on out and continue to build towards their goal of the playoffs.
- If Sanders is out, the Cavaliers should have an advantage inside with the frontcourt tandem of Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson. The Bucks are one of the poorer rebounding teams in the league (24th) and without Sanders in the middle, the Cavaliers should be able to attack the rim fairly freely as well as create a lot of second chance opportunities.
- Kyrie Irving against Brandon Knight
^^^Look a good player doing good stuff. This is called "fun". I want the Cavs to be fun again.
I don't know how much more of a breakdown is required. The Bucks are fielding a really terrible team this year, the Cavs need to play better than they have been. It would be really disappointing if the Cavs didn't win this game comfortably.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction
Kyrie drops 36, Varejao and Thompson combine for 38 and 25. Cavs win 115-95.