Before the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, they face one of the worst teams in the NBA: the Brooklyn Nets. Talk about two sides of the same coin.
Let’s preview it.
Who: Cleveland Cavalires vs. Brooklyn Nets
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Enemy Blog: Nets Daily
Music: The Imperial March from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, composed by John Williams
Keys to the game
- Brooklyn, by record and basically every metric measuring team quality is really, really bad. Per nba.com/stats, Brooklyn is 25th in offensive rating, 28th in defensive rating and 29th in net rating. The only team with a worse net rating than the Nets? The Philadelphia 76ers. And at least they have Joel Embiid.
- Brooklyn is also coming into this game on the second half of a back-to-back. Last night, at home, they lost by 16 to the Warriors. And the Cavs have been off since Wednesday. So, in addition to having a lot better better players, the Cavs are going to have a rest advantage. This is game is probably going to go one way.
- A familiar face makes his return to Cleveland tonight in this game as well. Anthony Bennett, Cleveland’s past No. 1 pick, is a small role player for the Nets. He’s only playing 11.7 minutes a game while averaging 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds, but it’s been interesting to see him get somewhat of a chance to rebuild himself on a team that can afford to take chances on basically any player with some level of talent. For more on Bennett, read Alex Wong’s profile of him at VICE Sports.
- Expect both LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to play. After Wednesday’s win against the Bucks, Tyronn Lue was pretty clear about whether the two would play, even after he wanted to rest both Wednesday:
Lue on if he'll consider resting LeBron and Kyrie Friday against the Nets: "No."— Chris Manning (@cwmwrites) December 22, 2016
- As for Kevin Love, he is still listed as questionable and Richard Jefferson is listed as a probable starter on the team’s website. Love has missed the last two games with a knee injury. If all three play (or even if Love doesn’t), the goal might be to get up and have the game wrapped up so the stars can rest during the fourth.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavs should cruise here. Brooklyn doesn’t really offer anything that can challenge Cleveland on any level. I’ll take the Cavs 105, Nets 92 with LeBron, Irving and Love (if he plays) resting the fourth.