Well, let’s see how this goes. The Cavaliers are playing a team blatantly tanking while playing some very uninspired basketball all while missing a solid third of their roster due to injuries. Basically, it’s the immovable object vs the unstoppable force.
All this to say: John Holland, it’s your time to shine, sport.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Phoenix Suns
When: 9 p.m. (This road trip has got to end)
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Enemy Blog: Bright Side of the Sun
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Online: Fox Sports Go, NBA TV
Cavaliers injuries: Kevin Love (OUT - hand), Tristan Thompson (OUT - ankle), Rodney Hood (QUESTIONABLE - back), Cedi Osman (OUT - hip), Kyle Korver (QUESTIONABLE - foot)
Suns injuries: Devin Booker (QUESTIONABLE - tricep), Tyson Chandler (QUESTIONABLE - shoulder), Josh Jackson (QUESTIONABLE - knee), TJ Warren (DOUBTFUL - back), Brandon Knight (OUT - ACL), Alan Williams (OUT - Knee)
Three keys to the game
- If you didn’t notice, the tank is ON for the Phoenix Suns. The team is littered with questionable injuries for guys who probably could play if they were in the playoff race. But, they’re not and they’re embroiled in one of the more epic tank races of all time. The Cavaliers really ought to win this.
- The Cavs have to find some rhythm, and Rodney Hood doubtful again, it’s going to be hard to do that. The team was relying on multiple G-League quality players despite some more decent minutes out of Ante Zizic, who’s looking the part of somebody who could develop into a player down the line. Jeff Green simply has to be better and much less trigger-happy from the three-point line.
- Ultimately, if the Cavaliers are engaged, then they should win this game by a mile. The Suns are actively trying to lose, and even a short-handed Cavs roster is miles better than Phoenix. It’s hard to break down much, but a defensive effort that’s at least a B- minus level will be required to ensure an easy win.
Elfrid Payton wrecked the Cavaliers in January as the team struggled to incorporate Isaiah Thomas into the lineup. George Hill really should do a much better job on defense in the shocker of the year.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavaliers win, but not easily. Cavs 113, Suns 109.