76ers at Cavaliers Preview
76ers (18-55) @ Cavaliers (47-27)
After one of the more questionable selections for a fourth quarter rotation, coach David Blatt and the Cavaliers are back in town for a three game home stand. Out of the three home games, this seems to be the more enticing one considering that the 76ers have trouble winning games at home let alone on the road. The 76ers are the second worst road team in the NBA with a 6-30 road record this season. Cleveland is one of the better teams at home with a 26-9 record at Quicken Loans Arena.
The 76ers have been in an abysmal state since the acquisition of star center Andrew Bynum. After trading their cornerstone player Andre Iguodala, the 76ers have been in the running for the draft lottery almost every year. The only year they made the playoffs since then included an early exit against a title contending Miami Heat team. This year has been no different. The team has included many players in their starting line up that even diehard NBA fanatics don’t know. The beginning of Philadelphia’s season was one of the worst starts in NBA, as they lost their first 17 games. Thought to be their building block, Michael Carter-Williams was traded right at the trade deadline in February. Coined the Tankadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia’s woeful NBA team will once again be heavy favorites for the top pick in next year’s draft.
Cleveland is far removed from the type of season that the 76ers are having. Barring the absurd moves made in the fourth quarter of Friday’s contest against the Nets, the Cavaliers are making all the right moves going into the month of April. After Sunday’s contest, the Cavaliers continue with a possible playoff match up in the next game against the Miami Heat. They finish up their home stand with a contest against the semi-hot Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers are a solid 8-2 in their last 10 and look to continue their dominance while they clinch the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.
This will be the final meeting between the Cavaliers and 76ers, with the season series currently tied at 1-1. The loss being the game when Dion Waiters and company were pulled from the bench to be traded. Additionally, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James sat out.
Here are some things you need to know before watching:
Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers – Quicken Loans Arena
Game start: 4:30 P.M. EST. Cavs TV- FSO. 76ers TV- CSN.
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Kyrie Irving: 21.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.2 RPG, 46.8 % FG
SG: J.R. Smith: 12.8 PPG, 2.6 APG, 3.7 RPG, 42.7 % FG
SF: LeBron James: 25.8 PPG, 7.3 APG, 5.8 RPG, 49.2 % FG
PF: Kevin Love: 16.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.0 RPG, 43.4 % FG
C: Timofey Mozgov: 10.6 PPG, 0.8 APG, 6.9 RPG, 59.8 % FG
PG: Ish Smith: 11.7 PPG, 6.2 APG, 2.8 RPG, 40.5 % FG
SG: Jakaar Sampson: 4.7 PPG, 0.8 APG, 2.1 RPG, 42.1 % FG
SF: Jerami Grant: 6.3 PPG, 1.1 APG, 3.0 RPG, 37.8 % FG
PF: Robert Covington: 12.9 PPG, 1.4 APG, 4.5 RPG, 39.4 % FG
C: Nerlens Noel: 9.9 PPG, 1.6 APG, 8.1 RPG, 46.8 % FG
Matchup to Watch For:
Considering that the 76ers are clearly the youngest team in the NBA, the biggest thing that they lack is experience. Nerlens Noel is a rookie this year after tearing his ACL at Kentucky. He is attempting to make up for lost time this season. Noel is in the perfect situation as there is no pressure for him to perform at this stage in his career – you can’t complain about a rookie’s play on a struggling team. Noel a high flying center, will be tested come Sunday when he faces off against Timofey Mozgov.
Mozgov, known to be one the more superb rim protectors in the NBA, looks to slow down Noel. Noel has also been known to be a shot blocker, but has yet to translate that fully to the NBA level. Nerlens has been on a tear in his rookie year, and is the brightest spot on the roster besides injured rookie center Joel Embiid. Noel dropped a career-high 30 points in their last game against the LA Clippers. Once thought to be possibly selected by the Cavaliers back in the 2013 NBA draft, Noel has been questioned in his potential after missing his rookie year. Noel will also be tested when back up center Kendrick Perkins checks into the game. As he is an absolute force on the defensive end.
- Anderson Varejao: Season.
- Tony Wroten: Season.
- Joel Embid: Season.
- Cavaliers 8-2 in last 10.
- 76ers 4-6 in last 10.
- Cavaliers 1st in Central Division.
- 76ers 4th in Atlantic Division.
- Cavaliers 2nd in Eastern Conference.
- 76ers 14th in Eastern Conference.
- Series season tied 1-1.