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Cleveland Cavaliers vs Detroit Pistons: Start time, television information, game preview

J.R. is back? Maybe? Hopefully?!

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cavaliers have suddenly lost three out of four games, including two straight to the Miami Heat, and head to Motor City to square off with the disappointing Pistons.

Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (42-20) at Cleveland Cavaliers (31-33)

When? 7:30 PM ET

Where? The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan

Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA TV

What to Watch For:

  • The Pistons are on the second half of a back-to-back and just got wrecked by the Pacers on the road on national television last night.
  • J.R. Smith might be making his long-awaited return to the Cavaliers lineup tonight. He’s been cleared for basketball activity and was listed as questionable yesterday, but he’s also reportedly under the weather (seriously, what is this supervirus going around the Cavs locker room?).
  • Kyle Korver also won’t be suiting up for the Cavaliers due to foot soreness, though he’s with the team so ideally that issue will be fixed with rest. Even as this team gets healthier, they get banged up. It’s pretty wild.
  • This Pistons team gave the Cavaliers a run for their money in last year’s playoffs but things haven’t really clicked for them. They’ve only got the 24th-ranked offense in the league, but the Cavaliers haven’t exactly been defensive stalwarts as of late, so they may have a chance to find some rhythm.
  • The Cavaliers have been off the last two days, so it’s fair to hope for a good effort after a series of lackluster games against Miami. The team dealt with Andrew Bogut’s injury on Monday and it probably took some wind out of the team’s sails. Ideally they’ll be refocused for this one.

Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction:

The Cavaliers have the stretch bigs to draw Andre Drummond out of the paint, though they miss Kevin Love’s rebounding in this matchup. Cleveland could use a feel-good win here, and I think they’ll get it. Cavs 117, Pistons 109.