Coming off a frustrating loss Friday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to get back into the win column as they take on the Washington Wizards. Consistency has been an issue this season for the Cavs, and they have lacked intensity and focus throughout the season. But a match up against the rival Wizards just might be what the team needs for a wake up call.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (41-16) at Washington Wizards (27-30)
When? 1:00 PM
Where? Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy blog: Bullets Forever
The Cavs failed to get Kyrie Irving involved in the offense Friday against Toronto, which is an easy way to make things more difficult for the team. Historically, Irving has always done well against the Wizards. For his career he has a 59.9 percent TS%, which is above his career average of 55.7 percent. Getting him involved will force John Wall to work on defense, which might help reduce his impact on the offensive side of the floor.
Despite the teams' struggles, Wall has had a great season. He started off slow, but is averaging just shy of 20 points and 10 assists a game. The problem is, he hasn't received much help outside of Bradley Beal when he's in the lineup. The frontcourt play has been less than spectacular, as Marcin Gortat is no longer as effective as he once was and Nene has looked like he is in the final months of his career. They're hoping that the addition of the volatile Markieff Morris will be able to provide bolster what is, once again, a below average offense. While it's unfortunate to see a year of good play from Wall get wasted, it's a good reminder that teammates matter and very few players are capable of carrying a team to the playoffs with minimal help.
The Cavs need to make sure they dictate the pace of play and not let the Wizards get out in transition. They are not as effective in the half court and Wall is one of the more dangerous players in transition in the league. As long as they dictate the pace and come with a balanced attack, the Wizards shouldn't be too tough of a test. Washington doesn't have players that can slow down any of the Cavs big three, so this is an ideal game to try and regain some momentum.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
I think after LeBron calling out the team on Friday, they'll bounce back with a much stronger effort, especially from James. Cavs win 108-97.