Cavaliers (45-26) @ Bucks (34-35)

After finishing their small two game home stand, the Cavaliers take on yet again another road trip. Sunday marks the start of a three game road trip, including an important contest again the Memphis Grizzlies. But before the game against the Grizzlies, Cleveland must set their sights on the Milwaukee Bucks. After being embarrassed on December 31, the new look Cavaliers look to pounce on the young Bucks. Milwaukee, who also made moves at the All-Star break, looks to secure their playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.

At the All-Star break, the Bucks made a surprising move trading up and coming guard Brandon Knight. At the end of the trade deadline the Bucks traded their future point guard, in return for another promising point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams has had trouble with the change of scenery, and many agree that the trade has stunted his growth at the point guard position. During the Bucks season, the emergence of small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been nice for Bucks fans. The “Greek Freak” makes highlight films every night with his blocks and amazing dunks. In darker news, young center Larry Sanders has left the team since the last time the Bucks have faced off against the Cavaliers. Although the Bucks will more than likely be ousted in the first round of the playoffs, look for the divisional foe to be a problem in the upcoming seasons for the Cavaliers. The Bucks hold the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference currently.

On the Cavaliers side, one word sums up the past couple days: PLAYOFFS! The Cavaliers are riding high going into Milwaukee on Sunday, as the Wine and Gold are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. After a promising sign of being able to defeat the 9th seeded Pacers, the Cavaliers look to continue their season without coasting through the final days. Cleveland has 11 games left and looks to take every game seriously going into mid-April. The Cavaliers easily defeated the Bucks in the earlier part of December, but were embarrassed on the last day of 2014. A few days after the last meeting between the Bucks and Cavaliers, the good guys acquired the three new pieces they now possess. The Cavaliers look to take advantage of the Bucks, of whom have lost their last five games. Look for a much more different result this time around.

Here are some things you need to know before watching:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks – BMO Harris Bradley Center

Game start 3:00 p.m.  Cavs TV- FSO.  Bucks TV- Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Projected Starting Lineups

Cavaliers:

PG: Kyrie Irving: 21.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, 3.2 RPG, 46.9 % FG

SG: J.R. Smith: 12.7 PPG, 2.6 APG, 3.7 RPG, 42.0 % FG

SF: LeBron James: 25.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 5.7 RPG, 49.1 % FG

PF: Kevin Love: 16.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.2 RPG, 42.9 % FG

C: Timofey Mozgov: 10.8 PPG, 0.7 APG, 7.1 RPG, 59.4 % FG

Bucks:

PG: Michael Carter- Williams: 14.2 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.6 RPG, 38.3 % FG

SG: Khris Middleton: 13.0 PPG, 2.2 APG, 4.5 RPG, 46.9 % FG

SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo: 12.6 PPG, 2.5 APG, 6.8 RPG, 49.1 % FG

PF: Ersan Ilyasova: 10.4 PPG, 0.8 APG, 4.6 RPG, 46.7 % FG

C: Zaza Pachulia: 8.0 PPG, 2.3 APG, 6.7 RPG, 43.6 % FG

Matchup to Watch For:

Although still praised for this athleticism at the age of 30, James may be tested on Sunday against the “Greek Freak.” Giannis is commonly praised on the amazing strides he is able to take with his legs, and the almost unreal wingspan he possesses. James showed that even the smallest things don’t affect him, when he played against the Pacers Friday night while combating the flu. James finished with 29 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. James’ ability to completely take over a game in the past couple weeks has strengthened his cause for his 5th MVP award. LeBron should look to show the 2nd year “Greek Freak” a couple new moves.

Antetokounmpo on the other hand has made strides in terms of earning most improved player of the year. Giannis is one of the bigger reasons as to why the Bucks are jousting for the 6th seed in the playoffs, even without rookie Jabari Parker. While many assumed the Bucks season was over after Parker tore his ACL against the Phoenix Suns on December 15th., Giannis and company rose to the occasion and now look to make a deep run in the playoffs. Giannis’ latest game against the Nets, was showcased by his rebounding talents. He finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds in a triple overtime game against the Nets. While James may dominate the matchup tonight, the matchup looks promising ove the next few years.

Injury Report:

Cavaliers:

  • Anderson Varejao: Season.

Bucks

  • Jabari Parker: Season.
  • Damien Inglis: Season.
  • O.J. Mayo: Day to Day.
  • Jared Dudley: Out Indefinitely.

Game Notes:

  • Cavaliers 8-2 in last 10.
  • Bucks 2-8 in last 10.
  • Cavaliers on two game winning streak.
  • Bucks on five game losing streak.
  • Cavaliers have clinched a playoff spot.
  • Bucks possess the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.
  • Cavaliers possess the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.

 

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