The Cleveland Cavaliers, after having two days off, are back in action at home on Thursday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. In good news for the Cavs, Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova are both listed as questionable, while Dylan Windler is listed as doubtful. Larry Nance Jr. and Jarrett Allen are both listed as out, which is not good. But at least some good injury news is good news.
How to watch:
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST on Bally Sports, Fox Sports Go and NBA League Pass
Cavs: Darius Garland / Collin Sexton / Brodric Thomas / Isaac Okoro / Isaiah Hartenstein
76ers: Seth Curry / Danny Green / Ben Simmons / Tobias Harris / Dwight Howard
Things to watch for:
What does the rotation look like? It seems likelier that Dellavedova plays than Love, but that’s still to be officially determined. Let’s say that holds true, though: does Dellavedova play and who does he bump out of the rotation? Just a hunch, but it would seem like that it would move Damyean Dotson and/or Quinn Cook out.
Elsewhere, will Cedi Osman remain benched? It seems possible, but that’s also to-be-determined and likely on a game-to-game basis until it all gets sorted out. If he remains benched, expect a lot more of Brodric Thomas and Lamar Stevens.
How to the Cavs navigate the 76ers’ larger lineups? Philadelphia will still be without Joel Embiid on Thursday — he’s expected back this weekend — but they still start a larger lineup than most teams. Cleveland is going to lean a little bit smaller with its backcourt, but there’s going to be some matchup navigation needed.
It also explicitly means that Hartenstein needs to stay out of foul trouble. He’s the only center healthy right now and he is coming off of a game where he had to quick out less than a minute in after picking up two quick fouls. If that happens against Dwight Howard, it’ll be a problem.
Who does Ben Simmons guard? Who the 76ers put Simmons, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate on, might somewhat dictate the Cavs’ offensive flow. It’s likely to be one of the two guards and maybe changes as the game goes on. Just keep watch of this.