Potentially an interesting game here for Cleveland. Darius Garland out as he’s out with a back issue that the team is calling “day-to-day”. Brandon Goodwin starts after his strong play in the Cavs’ win earlier this week over the Pelicans. Cedi Osman joins him in the starting lineup with Isaac Okoro, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley also starting.
Starting Osman is notable because it’s a change in formula for Cleveland. Even if it’s just one night, it’s going away from Lauri Markkanen (or, when he’s been injured, Dean Wade) at the three and playing a more traditional starting five. That’s kind of interesting.
The Cavs also should win this game. The Houston Rockets are bad. They have some interesting players, but they are a bad, bad basketball team. As Cleveland looks to continually protect their spot in the top-six of the Eastern Conference, winning against a bad team even without Garland is necessary.