The Cleveland Cavaliers (10-20) are back home tonight and will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (11-18) in hopes of snapping their nine-game losing streak. The Thunder are coming in riding a three-game skid themselves, most recently falling to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday 98-85. Notably, Kevin Love will not be back in the lineup just yet and Taurean Prince will remain out as well.
How to Watch:
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Go, and NBA League Pass
Cavs: Darius Garland / Collin Sexton / Isaac Okoro / Cedi Osman / Jarrett Allen
Thunder: Theo Maledon / Luguentz Dort / Shai Gilgeous-Alexander / Darius Bazley / Al Horford
Things to watch for
The Cavs have been playing horrible basketball the entire month of February. Much of that is due to their misfortune at the forward position. With Larry Nance Jr., Taurean Prince and Andre Drummond out for various reasons, the team has struggled badly with offensive spacing and flow. Love will bring a calm veteran presence while also opening offensive schemes that should unclog the lane and provide added swing and shooting options. Love can pull defenders to the perimeter making life much easier for Sexton, who can look to drive; and Allen, who can look to fly. Until then, Stevens, Allen and Dotson will have to work with what they have to take open looks when they get them. In his 17 games on the team, Allen has been been excellent on the defensive side of the ball averaging 1.6 blocks and 0.4 steals. Tonight, the Cavs will need Allen’s energy on both sides of the court.
The Return of the 3-Ball
On Friday, Collin Sexton and the Cavs appeared to make a conscious effort to shoot the long ball. Sexton attempted 7 three-pointers against Denver (making three). The last time Sexton made more than seven attempts from behind-the-arc was against the Nets on Jan. 20 when he went 5-11 from long distance. As a team, the Cavs went 12-31 from three on Friday and it was the reason they didn't get blown out of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse by the sharp-shooting Nuggets.
Getting the Fro in Flow
Jarrett Allen put up a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds on 8-9 shooting against the Nuggets on Friday. Despite the Cavs’ record since joining the team, Allen has been steadily improving as his role has become more defined in recent weeks. Darius Garland and Allen have been cooking up some slick moves in the middle, which should only be enhanced with Love’s looming return. Tonight, Allen will need to work on passing out of the double team as he battles against Al Horford, Darius Bazley and Isaiah Roby in the middle.