The Cavaliers have a chance at an honest-to-god winning streak after defeating the Nuggets in thrilling fashion on Wednesday night. The Clippers may be a bit of an afterthought since trading for Blake Griffin, but they’ve somehow managed their way into the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Clippers
When: 10:30 p.m. (JEEZ! FOR THE SECOND GAME IN A ROW!)
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Enemy Blog: Clips Nation
TV: NBA TV
Online: Fox Sports Go
Cavaliers injuries: Kevin Love (OUT - hand), Tristan Thompson (OUT - ankle)
Clippers injuries: Avery Bradley (OUT - hernia), Danilo Gallinari (OUT - hand)
Three keys to the game
- The Clippers are a feisty bunch, and Doc Rivers is doing one of his most underrated coaching jobs of his career. This team has played players who I’m 90 percent sure were generated in NBA 2K, yet they’ve managed to stay five games over .500. Tobias Harris can score in buckets and Milos Teodosic, despite battling through some injuries, is still a wizard against a leaky defense.
- The Cavaliers would do well to learn how to win games without LeBron having huge scoring outputs. His game against the Nuggets was nice, but you can’t count on that on a night-to-night basis. Rodney Hood, George Hill, J.R. Smith and Jordan Clarkson would all help ease the load until Kevin Love returns to action.
- Against Denver, the Cavs were better defensively than you’d think. Nicola Jokic was just torching fools in the post all night. The team held Denver’s potent backcourt to a mostly mediocre night, and they’ll have to do the same against the sneaky-good Austin Rivers.
LeBron James and Tobias Harris will always have some juice ever since the infamous “chill mode” incident against the Magic back in the day. James delights in torching Harris, and somehow, I doubt that’s changed since the trade to the Clippers.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Hopefully, the L.A. nightlife tax won’t kick in until the game against the Lakers on Sunday. Cavaliers win this one 105-99.