Cavaliers at Nets Preview
Cavaliers (47-26) @ Nets (30-40)
Coming off a surprising victory against a tough Grizzlies crew, the Cavaliers travel to Brooklyn for a quick contest before heading back to The Land. The Cavaliers don’t seem to be phased by even the stiffest competition in the NBA, and don’t look to be challenged by the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have played tough games as of late and attempt to extend their push to acquire the last playoff slot in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers played the Nets last week and dominated the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters on their way to a 117-92 victory.
Brooklyn is furiously trying to joust for that coveted 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. A week ago on Friday, the Nets battled it out in three overtimes against the sixth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and were horrendously out-rebounded by 30, but were still able to squeak out the win. That lack of rebounding may be a cause for concern especially against a Cleveland squad that swarms the defensive and offensive glass. If the Nets do slide into the 8th seed right before the playoffs start, look for the main reason of a first round exit due to their poor rebounding work ethic.
After absolutely dominating the Memphis Grizzlies on their own floor, the Cavaliers set their sights on the nine remaining games in the regular season. The Cavs have had a great month of March and have strengthened their case for the best team in the NBA. They are on a four game winning streak. It looks to be pushed to at least six games with their next two games against the struggling Nets and horrid 76ers. The Cavaliers however have a moderate schedule to end the season, although it seems no one should worry about whom the opponent is with how well the Cavaliers have played as of late. The Cavaliers look as if they could take 2nd place in the FIBA Championship.
This will be the forth and final meeting between the Cavaliers and Nets. The Cavaliers have a 3-0 lead on the season series.
Here are some things you need to know before watching:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets – Barclays Center
Game start: 7:30 P.M. EST. Cavs TV-FSO. Nets TV- YES.
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Kyrie Irving: 21.8 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.2 RPG, 46.9 % FG
SG: J.R. Smith: 13.0 PPG, 2.5 APG, 3.7 RPG, 42.8 % FG
SF: LeBron James: 25.9 PPG, 7.3 APG, 5.8 RPG, 49.2 % FG
PF: Kevin Love: 16.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 10.2 RPG, 42.9 % FG
C: Timofey Mozgov: 10.8 PPG, 0.8 APG, 6.9 RPG, 59.8 % FG
PG: Deron Williams: 12.9 PPG, 6.1 APG, 3.1 RPG, 38.5 % FG
SG: Markel Brown: 4.0 PPG, 0.7 APG, 2.0 RPG, 36.5 % FG
SF: Joe Johnson: 14.8 PPG, 3.4 APG, 4.7 RPG, 43.7 % FG
PF: Thaddeus Young: 13.8 PPG, 1.3 APG, 5.2 RPG, 50.0 % FG
C: Brook Lopez: 16.0 PPG, 0.7 APG, 7.0 RPG, 50.1 % FG
Matchup to Watch For:
Not known for his rebounding ability, Brook Lopez has been a monster on the boards as of late. Lopez is averaging 8.0 RPG in his last four games and is looking to constantly improve his rebounding ability. On the Cavaliers side, Timofey Mozgov has been impacting the defensive end since the day he got here, but as of late his offensive ability has been evident, too. Mozgov’s last game against the Nets was a dunk fest, Timofey finished with 17 points.
Although Mozgov doesn’t lead the team in rebounding, he has found other ways to contribute and has shown that every aspect of his game is improving and thriving in his time here in Cleveland. The same goes for Lopez, who at 7’0 has struggled at rebounding his entire career, Brook is also making vast improvements in his game including a 34 point outing against Charlotte on Wednesday night. This matchup may not be one that will be on the lookout, but the big men will give a great show for the fans in Brooklyn on Friday night.
- Anderson Varejao: Season.
- Thaddeus Young: Day to Day.
- Mirza Teletovic: Day to Day.
- Sergey Karasev: Day to Day.
- Cavaliers 8-2 in last 10.
- Nets 5-5 in last 10.
- Cavaliers 1st in Central Division.
- Nets 3rd in Atlantic Division.
- Cavaliers 2nd in Eastern Conference.
- Nets 10th in Eastern Conference.
- Season series 3-0 CLE.
- Nets Thaddeus Young “Expected to play.”