We're two games through the Tyronn Lue era, and things have gone about as bizarrely as expected. The Cavs have played one game of atrocious offense in a 93-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls, and pulled out a relative barn-burner in a 114-107 win over the Timberwolves. Lue has stated he's going to feature Kevin Love more, and then turned around and said that everyone needs to play more as a team. Things are tumultuous in Cleveland, and they're due for a game where they can just light someone up to work on some things and vent some frustrations. Well tonight, buddy, have I got the team for you!
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio
TV Listings: Fox Sports Ohio
Enemy Blog: Bright Side Of The Sun, who needs a hug
Music: Airborne Toxic Event - Happiness is Overrated
That's right, it's time for a matchup between the two teams this year that have taken the most attempts to directly cause unhappiness for all parties involved, the Cavs and Suns!
- Just how bad are things for the Suns? Well, they've won two of their last 18 contests, to start, which is not good in the slightest. In that time they've plummeted to a bottom-five offense and defense in terms of efficiency, and the recent stretch includes a 20-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and two losses to the Philadelphia 76ers, one of which occurred last night. Oh yeah. This is a Suns team playing the worst stretch of basketball in their team's history on a road back-to-back after a loss to the 76ers. If the Cavs lose this game, PANIC.
- The one area where the Suns could do some damage to the Cavs is inside, where they start Alex Len and Tyson Chandler, a pair of behemoths that could challenge the Cavs' ability to attack the rim and bruise them down low. Neither has been that effective offensively lately, though, which means the Cavs should take the opportunity to go small-ball heavy whenever these two are in the game. If you can afford to let the Suns try to beat you with Len and Chandler PNRs (you can), I wouldn't mind starting Tristan Thompson and running, then throwing Mozgov out there when Markieff Morris or Mirza Teletovic enters the game.
- If you're interested in the Cavs trading for Markieff Morris, I recommend you watch this game. Morris is shooting 38 percent from the field in January and is yet to hit a three, and is probably going to get a ton of time being guarded by LeBron James. Hopefully his performance will be enough to stop this ridiculous idea that Morris would be an improvement to the roster.
- Unfortunately Brandon Knight is injured this time around, so we're going to miss out on another chapter being added to Kyrie's career-long diss track of highlights against Knight. That means we're getting point-Archie Goodwin, if the Sixers game is any indication, so this should be a game where Kyrie has a fairly easy time getting things going.
- This is actually a decent game for the Cavs to experiment with different pick-and-roll coverages involving Kevin Love. The Suns run a fair amount of them, and they offer some athletic fours who aren't very good, but could still give Love problems. Since the Suns don't have many threats, it can be somewhat of a teaching session for experimenting with different coverages around Kyrie and Love, where the Cavs have had significant issues in defending the PNR this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see a variety of looks in this game, incuding Love guarding P.J. Tucker and LeBron guarding the four, and Mozgov sitting over top of a PNR Irving and Love are defending.