At 5-0, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA’s last remaining undefeated team and in today’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, they have a pretty good chance of remaining that way.
At 0-4, the Sixers are the worst team in the Eastern Conference and are one of three teams still without a win. The other two teams without a win, for the record, are the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans.
Let’s take a look at today’s game.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: Liberty Ballers
Music: On The Regular - Meek Mill
Keys to the game
- If there’s a player to watch on the 76ers, it’s obviously Joel ‘The Process’ Embiid. Although he’s still on a minutes restriction, he’s probably been the Sixers’ most fun and best player this year. He’s moving really well, blocking shots and shooting threes while putting up some absurd stats in about 20 minutes a game. He might struggle in this game a bit - and it’ll be interesting to see how Tristan Thompson handles Embiid - but the dude is on the court after missing two years and is really fun. That’s enough in a game the Cavs should role in.
- And yes, this is a game Cleveland should dominate. The Sixers aren’t good and even if the Cavs aren’t playing full-go, this should be a blowout. Philadelphia has no way to defend LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. And when that duo is already averaging around 70 points per game as a trio, that spells an easy victory for Cleveland.
- The trick, though, is when the game gets secured. So far this season, Cleveland is struggling to hold onto leads and having that happen today would’t be ideal. If the Cavs can wrap this up by say the third quarter or so, LeBron, Irving and Love can all rest during the fourth quarter and get an extended rest before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. It also represents an opportunity for Iman Shumpert to play point guard without consequence, for Kay Felder to maybe play and for Chris Andersen, James Jones Jordan McRae and DeAndre Liggins to eat some minutes.
- LeBron, by the way, will pass Hakeem Olajuwon for 10th all-time on the NBA’s scoring list when he scores his first two points of the game. Another day, another record for a player who still has a lot of basketball to play.
- If you’d like an audio preview of today’s game, I have you covered with a extra episode of Locked on Cavaliers.
- Lastly, here are some key Sixers stats and facts. They have an offensive rating of 92.1 (not great!) and a defensive rating of 106.3 (that’s okay, I guess?). Injury wise, they won’t have Nerlens Noel, Jerryd Bayless and No. 1 pick Ben Simmons available. And go read Lee Jenkins’ profile of Embiid.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Preview
The Cavs, again, should just dominate here. Cavs 115, 76ers 94 with LeBron, Irving and Love sitting out most, if not all, of the third quarter.