Last night, the Cavaliers turned in an impressive performance on the road to beat the Hornets. Now they have a quick turnaround to face their old friends, John Wall and the Washington Wizards, for the first time since the two teams met for an overtime thriller back in February.
Who: Wizards (44-28) at Cavs (47-24)
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
When: 7:30 pm Eastern
Where to watch: Fox Sports Ohio, NBATV
November 11: Cavs won in Washington, 105-94
February 6: Cavs won in Washington, 140-135 (OT)
What This Game Means
At the moment, the Cavs lead the East by one game over Boston. Washington is right behind the Celtics in third place, 3.5 games behind the Cavs. So this game is a big deal, both for determining homecourt in the playoffs and for determining matchups.
What to Watch For
- This will be the Cavs’ third game in four nights, with lots of travel in between, and they have to play in San Antonio on Monday. LeBron logged 40 minutes last night. It wouldn’t surprise me if some guys sit this one out. Even if they play everybody, it’s possible they could be a little flat.
- The Wizards will also be playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but their game last night was against Brooklyn so that hardly counts as playing an actual NBA game.
- The Wall vs. Irving matchup is always fun. Even when these two teams were terrible, those guys always got up for these games because they wanted to show the other guy up.
- For Washington, Bradley Beal has become much more than just a good spot-up shooter this season, and he’s a big reason the Wizards are better than just about anybody expected. This FiveThirtyEight piece has some details.
- If you still crave more #content, our own Chris Manning hosted Michael Sykes from Bullets Forever for the latest edition of the Locked on Cavaliers podcast.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
This game is too important for the Cavs to rest, so they will play everybody. They’ll look sluggish at times, but Kyrie will hit some big shots in the fourth quarter to pull out a close one, 106-103.