Time to work: Celtics @ Cavaliers preview

Cleveland Cavaliers logo
Cleveland Cavaliers logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So. 6 game win streak, then a 3 game losing streak. Are the C’s planning to lose another three more before they flip the switch again? I sure as hell hope not.

Fact: Anderson Varejao is ruled out for the rest of the season due to a blood clot in his lung. There goes the guy who averaged 14.4 rebounds this season.

Fact #2: The Cavaliers are at 10-32 this season, the last matchup being a road loss to the C’s in December 103-91.


Game time: 23 Jan 2013, 1100hrs AEDT

Watch on: NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

1. Wilcox is cleared to play, but there is no confirmation on whether he will actually see court time.

2. Fab Melo is still not cleared for full contact practice after his recent concussion (walked into a doorway).

Defense

The Cavaliers at this point are still a fairly raw team. The one thing they have got going for them is energy and hustle. Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller fight hard to fill the gap left by Varejao on rebounding and second chance points (team 29.6 ORB%), and it’s one of the reasons why the Cavaliers still manage to get games. Our big guys will have to be in position to get defensive rebounds and not give them a shot at getting the easy free throws or putbacks.

Kyrie Irving Layup
Kyrie Irving Layup (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)

Another key would be the scoring trio of Irving, Gee and Waiters, who combine for 49 PPG. Of special note is Dion Waiters, the rookie who has done so well this season filling the team on scoring. He’s averaging 14.8 PPG, second on the team right now. With Waiters and Irving on the floor at the same time, Rondo will have to defend his share of the game and not ease off.

The Cavs do not have a post presence the way the Grizzlies or Jazz do. Their offense is always initiated from Irving, who is also at the same time the first offensive option. Take away the dribble penetration, have Bradley and Lee hound him hard and their passes will be shaken up, giving us a shot at disrupting the passing lanes for TOs and fast break points.

Will the defense be up to it tomorrow?


This is a game that can be won, no doubts about it. The real question though, is which team we are going to see tomorrow. Is it going to be the 6 win Celtics, or are we just going to continue with the ones that have been showing up recently?

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