The Cavaliers suddenly sport the longest winning streak in the NBA at six games and host the Charlotte Hornets with eyes on extending the streak to seven. The Hornets, for their part, have found their stride as winners of their last three against the Clippers, Timberwolves and Wizards. The Hornets are no pushovers, and they’ll look to prove that against the Cavs.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Charlotte Hornets
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena — Cleveland, Ohio
Enemy Blog: At the Hive
TV: NBA TV, Fox Sports Ohio
Online: Fox Sports Go
Cavs injuries: Isaiah Thomas (OUT - hip), Tristan Thompson (OUT - left calf), Derrick Rose (OUT - ankle), Iman Shumpert (OUT - left knee)
Hornets injuries: Julyan Stone (OUT - hamstring)
Three Keys to the game
- Who’s going to slow down LeBron James? He closed Wednesday’s win against Brooklyn with 18 straight points, and his numbers are just unimpeachable at this point. He’s averaging just under 29 points and over eight rebounds and seven assists while shooting the best field goal percentage (58.5) of his career by a country mile. He’s loving playing the four on offense, and ultimately, there’s almost no lineup that can slow him down right now.
- Dwight Howard struggled in the first matchup with the Cavaliers due to foul trouble, but if he can stay on the court, he should present problems. He’s averaged 16.3 points and 11.6 rebounds in the month of November on 63 percent shooting from the field, and has been rejuvenated playing for Steve Clifford. He’ll never be an MVP candidate again, but he’s certainly an above average starter.
- Nicolas Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are an odd wing combo. Both are enormous and natural small forwards, but they’ve got enough athleticism to make it work on both ends. MKG can handle tough wing assignments while Batum’s playmaking and shooting ability really helps allow Kemba Walker to breathe at the poitn guard position.
Kemba Walker should feast offensively against the Cavaliers limited defenders at the point guard position. If he finds himself matched up with Dwyane Wade often, Wade will try to bully Walker in the post. We’ll see if he can win that matchup consistently.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavaliers extend their winning streak to seven in a hard-fought game, 104-98.