The Detroit Pistons gave the Cleveland Cavaliers a thorough beatdown when they played two weeks ago. The shorthanded Cavs will try to put forward a more respectable performance as they host the Pistons Monday night.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (17-53) vs. Detroit Pistons (36-33)
When: 7 p.m. EST
Where? Quicken Loans Arena — Cleveland, Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio, NBA League Pass
Cavs status update: Tristan Thompson (Foot - OUT), John Henson (Wrist - OUT), Matthew Dellavedova (Concussion - OUT), Larry Nance Jr. (Rib contusion - OUT), Kevin Love (Back - Questionable), J.R. Smith (Not with team),
Pistons status update: Reggie Jackson (Ankle sprain - Probable)
New game, same problems for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Detroit Pistons don’t play the most beautiful brand of basketball, but they have a tremendous amount of size and are relentless in their attack of the rim.
This was a glaring issue for the Cavs last time they played Detroit, as well as in their blowout loss to the Magic. If Kevin Love is not active for tonight’s game, that leaves Ante Zizic as the only big man on the roster. Which would be a recipe for disaster against any opponent, but especially one that makes attacking the interior a point of emphasis.
It can be easy to forget that Blake Griffin is still one of the better players in the league, especially with him playing in Detroit. But Griffin is putting up a career-high 24.7 points per game on a career-high 58.5 true shooting percentage. He’s shooting 36.3 percent from three on almost seven attempts per game and contributes in the assist column as well.
With or without Love, the Cavs simply do not have an answer for Griffin and he will likely be the deciding factor for the outcome of this game. Typically you would try to keep Detroit out of transition and force them to beat you from the outside, however the Cavs don’t have the personnel to dictate the rules of engagement tonight.
So all the team can hope for at this point is the continued strong play of Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman. Sexton has improved his efficiency, scoring, and is creating more assist opportunities lately. If he can turn a couple good weeks into a strong final month of the season it would provide some hope for the future as the team heads to a very important draft lottery.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction:
Cavs lose, Suns win vs. Chicago and the lottery race gets very interesting.