The Cleveland Cavaliers’ season is heading towards the end, but not without a few challenging games first. That includes tonight’s home game against the Phoenix Suns, currently the No. 1 seed out West and a legit title contender.
How to watch
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Tune in on Bally Sports Ohio or NBA League Pass.
Cavaliers: Collin Sexton / Cedi Osman / Isaac Okoro / Kevin Love / Jarrett Allen
Suns: Chris Paul / Devin Booker/ Mikal Bridges / Torrey Craig / Deandre Ayton
Cavaliers: Darius Garland (OUT - left ankle sprain), Matthew Dellavedova (OUT - neck), Isaiah Hartenstein (OUT - concussion), Lamar Stevens (OUT - concussion), Taurean Prince (OUT - ankle surgery), Dylan Windler (OUT - knee surgery), Larry Nance Jr. (OUT - right thumb fracture)
Suns: Jae Crowder (OUT - ankle sprain), Abdel Nader (OUT - right knee arthroscopy), Cameron Payne (QUESTIONABLE - left knee contusion)
Things to look for
How do the Cavs look? Based on the Cavs’ current roster and various injuries, they are clearly heading into the final part of the season where losses (and lottery positioning) matter more than pushing for wins. Still: The players are going to compete if they are on the floor and at least try to make a game of it. Jarrett Allen vs. Deandre Ayton should at least be fun. Isaac Okoro defending Devin Booker should be interesting too. But does Cleveland have enough juice to make a game of it? We’ll see.
The first night in a two-game blitz. After the Cavs host the Suns on Tuesday, they host the Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Over the last two weeks, Phoenix is 14th in net rating, while Portland is second. Cleveland, meanwhile, is 27th at -7.7 points per 100 possessions. With those two teams having playoff positioning to play for, and the Cavs not, this might be a two a rough stretch of games.
Lottery implications abound. With the Magic beating the Pistons on Monday night, the Cavs are just half a game behind the Magic in the standings. A loss tonight would tie Cleveland with both Orlando and Oklahoma City five games back of the league’s worst team, the Houston Rockets. A week or two ago, it looked like the Cavs might be locked in as the sixth-worst team in the league. Now, it’s entirely possible they sink lower. #FadeForCade is making a late-season push here.