If the season ended today, the Cleveland Cavaliers would be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and be headed for a first-round matchup with either the New York Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets. It’s possible that they catch the Philadelphia 76ers, but the Cavs enter Tuesday 3.5 back of the 76ers and Philly has games in hand.
So if it’s going to happen, the Cavs need this one. That would put them back three of the 76ers heading into a Wednesday matchup between the two teams. If Cleveland wins that, they’ll be two games back and own the season tiebreaker.
But first things first. The Cavs need to control what they can control.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (43-27) vs. Charlotte Hornets (22-47)
Where: Spectrum Center — Charlotte, North Carolina
When: 7 p.m. EST
TV: Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Southeast
Spread: Cavs -8.5 (via Draft Kings)
Opposing Blog: At the Hive
Cavs’ Expected Starting Lineup: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens, Evan Mobley
Cavs’ Injury Report: Jarrett Allen (OUT - Right Eye Contusion)
Hornets’ Expected Starting Lineup: Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, Gordan Hayward, PJ Washington, Nick Richards
Hornets’ Injury report: LaMelo Ball (OUT - ankle), James Bouknight (OUT - G League Assignment), Theo Maledon (OUT - G League Assignment), Cody Martin (OUT - ankle), Mark Williams (OUT - thumb sprain), Kelly Oubre (PROBABLE - Back)