Fresh off Monday's loss the Warriors, the Cavs are in Brooklyn to take on the Nets. Brooklyn, at least in terms of record, isn't the worst team in the NBA or even in the Eastern Conference, but you'd be hard pressed to find a situation more depressing than the Nets.
For the Cavs, though, Wednesday's game might be just what the doctor ordered.
Where: Barclays Center - Brooklyn, New York
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Ohio & NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: Nets Daily
Music: J. Cole - Apparently
Keys to the game
- This really is the perfect bounce back game for the Cavs on paper. The Nets are really the worst team in the NBA (the 76ers at least have good young players!) and really can't push the Cavs in any meaningful way. Brook Lopez might score 20 against Timofey Mozgov, but it won't really matter. If the Cavs are playing at 80 percent of what they are capable of, then they should cruise here.*
- The Nets do have seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson and his massive contract, though.
- This is also a really good bounce back opportunity for Kyrie Irving, who is currently putting up career-low numbers as he inches back toward full strength. Jarrett Jack is out for the year with an ACL injury and Donald Sloan is currently Brooklyn's starting point guard. And yes, this the same Donald Sloan who played 20 games with the Cavs during the 2012-2013 season.
- Overall, this is a pretty bad Nets roster. Not a single player on their roster has a positive net rating and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - a rookie who can't shoot - has their best net rating at -1.6. He also happens to be out with a fracture ankle.
- The last time these two teams played in late November, Lopez scored 29 points, but the Cavs won 90-88 when LeBron James hit a running hook shot with just seconds left. At the time, the Cavs didn't have Irving back yet and the season didn't quite feel started yet in a meaningful way. The season certainly feels a little more real now.
- After the Nets, the Cavs head back home to take on the Clippers in a nationally televised game on Thursday. After that the Cavs face the Bulls on Saturday before facing the Timberwolves, Suns, Pistons and (gasp) Spurs next week. With how poorly Monday's game against the Warriors went, a smooth win here wouldn't be the worst thing in the world by any stretch of the imagination.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction