The Cleveland Cavaliers are riding a hot streak, a six-game winning streak to be exact, and will look to keep it going at home against the visiting San Antonio Spurs. Cleveland is coming off an exhilarating comeback win against the Chicago Bulls, while the Spurs are in the midst of a 12-game losing streak. San Antonio beat the Cavs 112-111 in the last matchup between these two teams, which was in itself a thrilling game that Cleveland had a chance to win despite sleepwalking through 75% of the game. Hopefully, that does not repeat itself tonight.
Where: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Southwest
Spread: Cavs -15
Opposing Blog: Pounding the Rock
Cavs expected starting lineup: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen
Cavs injury report: Isaiah Mobley (OUT - G League assignment), Danny Green (OUT - not officially on the team yet)
Spurs expected starting lineup: Devonte Graham, Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Zach Collins
Spurs injury report: Romeo Langford (OUT - thigh), Khem Birch (OUT - ineligible to play), Tre Jones (OUT - foot), Devin Vassell (OUT - knee), Doug McDermott (QUESTIONABLE - Achilles), Charles Bassey (QUESTIONALBE - leg), Keldon Johnson (PROBABLE - ankle), Jeremy Sochan (PROBABLE - back)
What to Watch For:
Remember Last Time?
In the only other matchup between the Cavs and the Spurs, San Antonio came out on top at one of the lowest points of Cleveland’s season. The Cavs played down to their competition, only kicking into gear in the second half when things were at their most dire. San Antonio won the turnover battle, out-rebounded the Cavs, out-assisted them, and held a 19-point lead at one point in the game. It was, not to mince words, a wakeup call for Cleveland. The Cavs rattled off five-straight wins after that humiliating defeat.
The Spurs, one of the worst teams in the league, have lost 12 straight contests with their most recent win coming on January 17 against the Brooklyn Nets. They also have a 14-game losing streak on the road. Hopefully, J.B. Bickerstaff and the rest of the coaching staff showed the team some of the lowlights in that Spurs game to help light a fire. There were many, many to pick from.
Bigs Going to Work
On the Cavs’ current winning streak, the dynamic backcourt has certainly been very important as they always are. But Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen have flown under the radar despite having a huge impact. In his last six games, Mobley is averaging 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on 54% shooting while continuing to be a menace on defense. Allen is averaging 20.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and two assists on 76.4% shooting while also continuing to be a stout defender both on the interior and the perimeter. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland will continue to get theirs, and that will continue throughout the season as long as they are healthy. But Mobley and Allen have been playing exceedingly well heading into the final few games before the All-Star break.
Dylan Windler LIVES
The Cavs are favored by a lot. Like, it is entirely reasonable to think that this game is over by halftime. That means the starters may be able to get some rest, which would be nice. Cleveland, at the time of this writing, does not have anyone out due to injury – including the unlucky Dylan Windler who has been working his way back from ankle and hamstring injuries for nearly all of the season. This may be the game in which he finds some minutes on the floor. It would be good for him to get some court time and reacclimated to playing. He probably will not be playing any meaningful minutes anytime soon, and if he is then something has gone horribly wrong. The intangibles and skillset are there for Windler to be a contributor in some capacity before the season ends.