The Cleveland Cavaliers are exuding confidence after completing back-to-back signature wins over the Brooklyn Nets, to extend their winning streak to three. They will travel to Boston and take on a desperate Celtics team on Sunday night.
How to watch:
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Go and NBA League Pass
The Cavs are finally starting to get healthy with Darius Garland and Dylan Windler getting back into the rotation. Cavs head coach, J.B. Bickerstaff, wants to ease Garland back into action, so it may be a couple games before he is inserted back into the starting lineup. Nonetheless, Garland is back, and the combination of him and Jarrett Allen off the bench is deadly. Isaac Okoro will have another tough matchup in Jaylen Brown, after guarding James Harden for two games. He did well with Harden, but Brown plays a completely different style, so Okoro will have his work cut out for him.
Cavs: Collin Sexton / Isaac Okoro / Cedi Osman / Larry Nance Jr. / Andre Drummond
Celtics: Kemba Walker / Marcus Smart / Jaylen Brown / Grant Williams / Tristan Thompson
Things to watch for:
- Sexton’s playmaking: The word is out on Collin Sexton. After his 42-point masterpiece on Wednesday night, the league has been put on notice. The Nets defended Sexton much differently on Friday and tried to force him to make plays for his teammates. This was not an issue for Sexton, who finished with nine assists, one short of tying his career high. He also finished with 25 points, so the Celtics will be prepared, and will most likely throw Marcus Smart on him. Smart is an excellent defender, and if Collin Sexton can continue his dominance against a player of Smart’s caliber, then the All-Star votes should come pouring in for Sexton.
- Cavs’ frontcourt should continue to dominate: Allen has made the Cavs frontcourt seem unstoppable. Their size and length is tough for any team to matchup with, and the Celtics struggle dealing with size. After the Cavs outrebounded the Nets 50-29 and outscored them in the paint 70-46 on Friday, they will look to continue dismantling other team’s smaller lineups. The Celtics are a much better defensive team than the Nets, but that should not stop the three headed monster of Allen, Andre Drummond and Larry Nance Jr.
- The Cavs have depth all the sudden: While the Cavs were dealing with injuries to major contributors in their rotation, they had to rely on Lamar Stevens, Daymean Dotson and Dean Wade to provide them with depth. Now it looks like a completely different team. They had 53 points off the bench on Friday night led by the new additions, Allen and Taureen Prince. Prince has been very productive for the Cavs thus far, and provides much needed versatility and shooting off the bench. Considering that Garland and Windler come off the bench with the new guys, depth has become a strong suit for the Cavs.