Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center
Enemy Blog: Brewhoop
Online: Watch ESPN
Cavs injuries: Isaiah Thomas (right hip - OUT)
Bucks injuries: Jabari Parker (left knee - OUT)
Three keys to the game
- Tyronn Lue has a lot of work to do with these rotations, friends. He played 10 guys, but in weird doses. Kyle Korver only played seven minutes. Tristan Thompson played 19. He’s going to take his time to figure out how to make this team function at its most optimal, and there’s going to be some bumps in the road. Just be ready for it.
- LeBron James had a lovely time playing the four on offense. He went 11-of-14 on two-point field goal attempts against the Celtics and feasted with the extra space that came with a Crowder-Love frontcourt pairing. He also stepped up big on the boards, grabbing 16. The Bucks have given James problems in the past, however. They’re long-armed and love to play the passing lanes that James typically threads beautiful passes through, and they can goad him into turning the ball over. If he’s smart and the Cavs run good offense, they can find buckets, but laziness is death against Milwaukee.
- Kevin Love should bully the everloving hell out of Thon Maker in the post and while fighting for rebounds. Maker has a ton of potential, but he’s still wire-thin and not equipped to bang in the post. Love only got nine shot attempts in the opener while putting up a more-than-solid 15 points and 11 rebounds, and one would hope that the team looks to get him more involved in the offense in game 2.
Jae Crowder is going to have his hands full guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis put up 37 in the season opener against the Celtics, and he’s got five inches and about 40 feet of wingspan on Crowder. In an ideal world where energy preservation wasn’t a factor, LeBron is about as good of a weapon you can throw on Giannis. That won’t be the case, as it will be Crowder’s assignment. We’ll see how he handles it.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
James is suiting up, and this team has a game under their belt. Going on the road is never easy, though, and the Bucks are always motivated to knock off an East contender. The Cavs growing pains bite them in this one as the motivated Bucks steal a win. Bucks 114, Cavaliers 105.