The Cavaliers need a win in the worst way, having dropped their last four games. After a stretch of games against stiff competition, mostly on the road, they travel to Brooklyn for a game against the reeling Nets. Brooklyn started the season 6-6, but has lost 10 of their last 12. Either team will look for early momentum to right the ship.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (4-18) vs. Brooklyn Nets (8-16)
When? 7:30 p.m.
Where? Barclays Center — Brooklyn, New York
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Enemy Blog: Nets Daily
Cavs injuries: Kevin Love (Foot - Out), Sam Dekker (Ankle - Out), J.R. Smith (Not With Team), David Nwaba (Knee - Out), Ante Zizic (Knee - Doubtful)
Nets injuries: Joe Harris (Leg - Out), Caris LeVert (Ankle - Out), Treveon Graham (Hamstring - Out)
The Nets are really missing their two unsung heroes in Joe Harris and Caris LeVert. LeVert was looking like a breakout star before his gruesome injury, and Harris has turned himself into one of the best wing shooters in the NBA while toiling in relative obscurity.
Keys to the game
- Will Spencer Dinwiddie continue to torture the Cavaliers? It could (and should!) be argued that Spencer Dinwiddie has ruined everything. He hit the game-winner against the Cavaliers, giving the Nets pick slightly worse odds that ended up mattering in a significant way. He also hit like nine other game-winners last year. Basically, he ruined the entire future of the franchise. Would’ve been rolling with DeAndre Ayton or Luka Doncic without him.
Contain Jarrett Allen on the roll. Allen is one of the Nets projects that isn’t yet a complete player, but shows enormously dominant flashes from time to time. He’s springy, can block shots, and has sneaky good footwork on offense. Specifically, the Cavaliers have been tortured by centers diving in the pick and roll. They’re just deficient defensively in both scheme and personnel, and Allen could feast after D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Who can play worse in the clutch?. The Nets are 29th in net rating in the clutch this year, being outscored by 23.9 points per 100 possessions in clutch time this season. Only the Cavs are worse, outscored by 41.2 points per 100 possessions in the clutch. Truly, this is the battle of the unstoppable force vs. the unmovable object. Except it’s more like the very stoppable force and the very movable object.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavaliers better play is being hidden by a brutal schedule. I think they snag a road win against a reeling Nets team, 102-98.