Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (9-35) at Portland Trail Blazers (26-19)
When? 10 p.m. EST
Moda Center Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Cavs status update: Kevin Love (Foot - OUT), John Henson (Wrist - OUT), Larry Nance Jr. (Knee - OUT), David Nwaba (Ankle - OUT), J.R. Smith (Not with team)
Blazers status update: TBD
Playing in Portland is routinely one of the most difficult environments to play in. From the travel, to the crowd, to their consistently solid team it is a location that has given the Cavs plenty of trouble in the past.
Portland is coming in to this game losers of their last two outings. With how tight the Western Conference playoff race is, they will likely be looking at this game as an opportunity to come out strong and get back on track.
For the Cavs, this is yet another difficult matchup for Collin Sexton. There is no place to hide defensively as a guard when you take on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The duo is capable of consistently generating good looks for themselves and others against some of the league’s best defenses, forget the league’s worst.
While Cleveland likely won’t be able to stop Portland, their only hope is that they can keep up the same pace offensively. With Kevin Love still out of the lineup, the burden once again falls on the shoulders of Sexton and Cedi Osman. When they are able to perform at a level that would be unfair to expect out of them on a consistent basis at this point, the team looks like it makes more sense. Every other night, the team looks headed towards a top pick in the draft.
To see the Cavs young duo build upon their performances in LA would be a great sign, especially on this tough road trip. But regardless of how they play, the bench will need to provide more help than the 14 points they put up against the Lakers.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Hard to feel confident about this one going in. Portland needs this game and the Cavs don’t really have an answer for a motivated Blazers squad. Cavs lose 124-98.