The Cleveland Cavaliers continue their crash course on developing team chemistry as they host the Philadelphia 76ers. The Cavs won their last matchup against Philly 105-98 at home in December, but this is obviously a very different team than they were in that matchup.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (36-24) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (32-27)
When: 8 pm
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? TNT, Fox Sports Ohio
Cleveland Injuries: Kevin Love (Hand - Out), Jeff Green (Back - Questionable)
Philadelphia Injuries: None
A tale of two Tristan Thompson’s. His play has fluctuated between good and awful recently, but the team will need his to be at his best if they are going to have any hope of accounting for Joel Embiid. Neither Thompson or Embiid played in the previous matchup between these teams. But Embiid did go off for 30 and 11 during the Cavs 113-91 win against the Sixers in November.
Thompson is probably the only player on the roster with a hope of containing Embiid. As well as Nance has played, the size disadvantage is just too significant. Plus when you factor in his recent proclivity for accumulating fouls, it’s probably a tall order for him.
Outside of the matchup at center, this Cavs team is much better suited to take on Philly. The length along the perimeter should help contain the Sixers, who hung around in their last matchup with outside shooting from J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric.
This game will provide the Cavs offense a needed test, as they have been stagnant at times since the trade deadline. The Sixers have the fourth best defense in the league, and a ton of length at almost every position. It’ll be interesting to see if Tyronn Lue leans more on the Cavs new additions, as they’ve been the more reliable option on both ends of the floor since the trades.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction:
The Cavs have struggled on national TV, but I have a good feeling about this one. Cavs win 116-102.