Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (0-3) vs Brooklyn Nets (1-2)
When? 7 p.m. EST
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog? Nets Daily
Cavs status updates: None
Nets status updates: DeMarre Carroll (Ankle - Out), Treveon Graham (Hamstring - Out), Alan Williams (Ankle - Out)
The first home game of the season for the Cavaliers was one they likely would want to leave in the past. After showing encouraging signs against the Raptors and Wolves the team was embarrassed on their home floor against the Atlanta Hawks.
Head coach Tyronn Lue hopes that an infusion of experience will help guide the younger members of the roster, as Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, and Channing Frye are all expected to be a part of the rotation. With extra spacing on the floor, this could help create opportunities for the Cavs on the inside.
Keys to the game:
For the love of god somebody get a stop. The Cavs defense was abysmal against the Hawks and appeared to be incapable of stopping the roll man in pick and roll situations. Jarrett Allen has blossomed as a hell of a player for the Nets and somebody that will burn you if you don’t match his energy. The second unit and Larry Nance Jr. in particular has to be much better defensively if they are going to have any chance of slowing down any team.
Duel of the breakouts. Cedi Osman has been one of the few bright spots early in this season for the Cavs and he will likely see a fair amount of time with the Nets breakout star. Caris LeVert is averaging 24.7 ppg on 65 percent shooting from the floor and 40 percent from deep through three games. While LeVert plays shooting guard alongside Joe Harris on the perimeter, I expect Osman to be tasked with guarding him over Rodney Hood. Osman has been asked to guard the toughest perimeter assignment on a nightly basis, so it’ll be up to him to see if he can slow down LeVert. LeVert is coming off his lowest scoring game of the season, where he scored 19 points on 8-9 shooting against the Pacers. So yeah, the Ohio native is pretty good.
Get back to running the offense. The Cavs have actually been fairly efficient scoring the ball so far this season, however there have been noticeable stretches where they have deviated from running the offense. This team doesn’t have the talent to play hero ball and they’ve struggled to regain their rhythm once it’s been lost in-game. If the Cavs are going to lose due to their defensive limitations that’s one thing, but some positive momentum heading in the direction of developing offensive chemistry would be a step in the right direction.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
You know what they say, fourth time’s the charm. I don’t have much faith in the defense at the moment. But with two days off to practice I believe the Cavs will come out with a much more consistent effort and do what they should have done on Sunday. Cavs win 122-116.