The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to pull out from their spiral of dysfunction as they host the Indiana Pacers.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (27-19) vs. Indiana Pacers (26-22)
When? 7:30 p.m.
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass.
Cavaliers injuries: None
Pacers injuries: Myles Turner (Elbow - Questionable), TJ Leaf (Ankle - Questionable) Glenn Robinson III (Ankle - Out)
Well, let’s try this again. The Cavs will try to beat an opponent that isn’t the Orlando Magic for the first time since Jan. 2. The team has done a lot of talking recently about how they need to be better, and have had their team meetings and fights, but we haven’t seen that lead to an increased effort on the court.
As of this morning, the Cavs have the worst defensive rating in the NBA. In an attempt to provide some defensive resistance, Tristan Thompson will be making his return to the starting lineup.
The Pacers are 3-0 against the Cavs this season, and are looking to complete the season series sweep at Quicken Loans.
This shouldn’t be where this team is at this time of the season. We are reaching the end of January and the goals for this team is more about cohesion than actual wins and losses. This is typically the way a rebuilding team would operate, but then again very little about this team is normal.
Can the starters develop some chemistry? Will the bench unit regain some of what made them special earlier in the year? Will LeBron James start to look more like the 32 year old version of himself?
A preview of this game and how the match ups will unfold is a nearly impossible task. From the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performances this roster is capable of putting forward from quarter to quarter, we just don’t know what this Cavs team is.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction.
Despite my pessimistic tone, I’m going to try to play the optimist. I don’t think the lineup change will fix all of their issues on defense, but it may fix some. I think the Cavs will look disjointed at times, but narrowly escape with a 113-112 win.