The Cavaliers have won four games in a row, but head to Washington to play the Wizards on a short turn around on the second half a back-to-back. It won’t be an easy win, with Dwyane Wade and Tristan Thompson resting. We’ll see if they can show up and keep pace despite heavy legs.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (22-8) at Washington Wizards (16-13)
When: 6:00 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
Enemy Blog: Bullets Forever
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Online: NBA League Pass, Fox Sports Go
Cavs injuries: Isaiah Thomas (OUT - hip), Derrick Rose (OUT - ankle), Iman Shumpert (OUT - left knee), Tristan Thompson (OUT - calf/rest), Dwyane Wade (OUT - knee/rest)
Wizards injuries: Otto Porter (QUESTIONABLE - thigh), Ian Mahinmi (QUESTIONABLE - knee), Jason Smith (QUESTIONABLE - knee), Sheldon Mac (OUT - achilles)
Three keys to the game:
- The Cavaliers are going to be tired and short-handed. Dwyane Wade and Tristan Thompson are both sitting, and Wade’s absence is especially felt due to the lack of Isaiah Thomas on the roster. LeBron James has to take on an even larger role as a playmaker, and Jose Calderon is forced to be much more assertive on-ball. We’ll see how the rest of the team adjusts.
- Cedi Osman earned his way into 23 minutes against the Jazz on Saturday, and rewarded Tyronn Lue with his best game, scoring 10 points on 4-5 shooting and finishing +13. The team will probably need to turn to him again with Wade out, and he’ll need to flash some secondary playmaking and more shooting to stay on the floor. It just depends on whether he gets an opportunity.
- The Wizards don’t really have anyone to throw at LeBron James - Otto Porter is questionable, and even if he plays, he looks the part of a LeBron-stopper more than he actually is one. LeBron scored 57 points on the Wizards last time, and the team was forced to put a hobbled John Wall on James late. It wasn’t particularly fair.
How will Jose Calderon deal with John Wall? My guess: Not particularly well. Wall’s just returned from injury, so the Cavs will have to bank on some rust and Wall’s jumper just not being on, because he should be able to get to the rim at will in this game. Help defense will be the key.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
It’s a tough spot for the Cavs. The Wizards end the streak, 112-104.