If you want to know how the Cleveland Cavaliers are doing this regular season, they are seventh place in the Eastern Conference Standings with a (43-37) mark. Well, the Cavs will have all their work cut out for them as they will go up against the Brooklyn Nets (41-38), who are tied with the Atlanta Hawks as well trying to move up into the playoff picture.
In essence, this will be the 188th regular season matchup between these two squads where Cleveland leads, 105-82. On January 17, 2022, the Cavs handed the visiting Nets a 114-107 loss. In sequence, Darius Garland led the winning Cavaliers with 22 points and 12 assists for a double-double. Kyrie Irving had 27 points, nine assists and was 12-23 from the field. Also, the Cavs were 12-30 behind the arc and Brooklyn was 19-21 from the free throw line.
How will the Cavaliers shutdown Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving? Both of these stars like to shoot the three on a consistent basis and at the Barclays Center for this dynamic duo the results are going to be no different. If I’m the Cavs coaching staff, I put my best defenders and use size to my advantage to force both of these players to make ill-advised shots. Being in the seventh and eighth spots in the East you want to build momentum when the season ends. Cleveland will have to double team and collect points off of turnovers to translate into fast breaking opportunities. You never want to lose games when the season ends. Kyrie has a total of 199 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers in eight games with the Nets. With the Cavaliers, Irving netted 8,232 points overall as experience is going to be a factor when the game commences on Friday night with a 7:30 pm tip off. In the 2021-2022 regular season, Durant has a total of 1,555 points thus far. Out of 14 seasons played, Durant has garnered more than 2,000 points in a season six total times. Moreover, Durant is having a stellar year.
To note, keep your eyes on the 892 scoring machine of Patty Mills, who is an underrated talented player. Mills has been the go-to-guy under head coach Steve Nash.
What can Cleveland do in order to respond? Get their leading scorer Darius Garland out in transition early on as he has (1,431) points with (572) assists. Have all the core players contribute as well such as Evan Mobley (999 pts.), Kevin Love (965 pts.), Jarrett Allen (904 pts.), Lauri Markkanen (860 pts) and Cedi Osman with (685). There is no doubt that the offensive wizardry of the Cavaliers can score at will and they have 8,599 points overall. I always find attacking the glass and the paint by drawing yourselves to the charity stripe can give any team a decisive advantage. Cleveland must win the free throw battling game and not fall behind in those results by connecting on those freebies. Right now, every basketball game will feel like a playoff atmosphere. Furthermore, I like to see Cleveland be more consistent from downtown and not force too many brick shots. In other words, let’s see if the Cavs can break out a 12-3, 14-2 or a 15-4 run and put the Nets on their heels. Limiting turnovers and not committing an overwhelming amount of personal fouls will be key to start off this matchup.
Therefore, can the Cavaliers close the deal on the hometown Brooklyn Nets and grab the W? Or, will the Nets bounce back from their previous lost against one of their major conference rivals? What will be the Cavs head coach J.B Bickerstaff’s game plan to slowdown Brooklyn’s offensive prowess?
After these results take place, the Cavaliers will host the defending NBA Champions, the Milwaukee Bucks (49-30), who are number three in the East. The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse will be a rocking 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon!