Outside of Kyrie Irving’s new team in Boston, the Cavs are suddenly the hottest team in the NBA. They’re currently riding a five-game winning streak after blowing the doors off the Pistons on Monday night, and look to extend their streak against the frustratingly competitive Brooklyn Nets.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena — Cleveland, Ohio
Enemy Blog: Nets Daily
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Online: Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass
Cavs injuries: Isaiah Thomas (OUT - hip), Tristan Thompson (OUT - left calf), Derrick Rose (OUT - ankle), Iman Shumpert (OUT - left knee)
Nets injuries: Jeremy Lin (OUT - knee), D’Angelo Russell (OUT - knee), Trevor Booker (TBD - knee)
Three Keys to the game
- The Cavaliers have a vested interest in winning this game as the owners of Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick. That didn’t stop them from losing to Brooklyn on October 25th on the front end of their four-game losing streak. This Nets team is not talented and is missing its two best players due to injury, but they play hard and they play smart.
- Spencer Dinwiddie is apparently the best player in the NBA. He hit the deep dagger to finish off the Cavs in October, and in the last three games, he’s averaging 19.3 points, nine assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. He’s been among the major reasons the Nets haven’t cratered without both of their best guards.
- How can the Cavs avoid a letdown? This is not a game that will be won via X’s and O’s. The Cavs are clearly, obviously better, and the level of attention they pay to their opponent will set the tone. The more life the Nets get, the more in danger the outcome will be. This should be a blowout, but there’s no guarantee of that happening.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson torched LeBron James multiple times in their first meeting, with a ton of activity off ball and a frustratingly accurate three-point jumper. He’s also the most capable defender on James, though I’ll stop short of the fabled “LeBron-stopper” term.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavaliers will win, but it won’t be quite as fun as the Pistons game was. Cavs 112, Nets 101.