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Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets: Game preview, start time, and TV information

The Cavs will look to bounce back from a tough loss against a team trying to get back in the playoff hunt.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Cavs had their full roster available for the first time since acquiring the likes of Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. It did not go well. Tomorrow night, they’ll look to get back on track against a team they have dominated so far this season.

Much of the state of North Carolina will probably be focused on college basketball, but they will miss out on some compelling Eastern Conference professional basketball.

Who: Cavaliers (46-24) at Hornets (32-39)

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

When: Friday, 7 pm Eastern

Where to watch: Fox Sports Ohio

Previous Meetings

November 13: Cavs won at home, 100-93

December 10: Cavs won at home, 116-105

December 31: Cavs won in Charlotte, 121-109

What This Game Means

The Cavs are coming off of a pretty ugly loss against the Nuggets in a game where all of their players played. It’s not yet clear whether they’ll have a full squad for this game (they’re playing the next night back home against the Wizards), but they could use a win. At the moment, they’re just one game up on Boston for the top spot in the East.

Charlotte is even more desperate for a win. They have 11 games left and are currently three games behind Miami for the final playoff spot in the East. They’ve won three in a row to give themselves a chance.

What to Watch For

  • The Cavs’ defense has been a disaster this season. They’ve been running pretty simplistic schemes and not bothering to give a ton of effort. The Hornets are in the middle of the league in terms of offensive efficiency, but if the Cavs don’t care, they’ll probably give up some points.
  • Kemba Walker has been having another solid season, averaging 22.7 points and 5.5 assists per game while hitting about 40 percent of his threes. Stopping Charlotte requires stopping him, first and foremost.
  • It will be interesting to see how the Cavs approach this game in terms of who they let play. They have a big game the next night back at home against Washington, and then have to be in San Antonio on Monday night.
  • Larry Sanders has been recalled from Canton and will be available for this game. Maybe that means they’re planning to rest people, or maybe it means something else. Either way, it will be interesting to see how Sanders looks (if he gets any action) in his second game with the team.

Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction

If the LeBron plays, they will win. If he doesn’t, they will lose. How is that for fearless?