GameDay Preview: Cavs at Bucks

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Dion Waiters
Gary Dineen/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold are back on the road to play the Milwaukee Bucks for the third of 10 road games in the month of November. Tipoff at the BMO Harris Bradley Center starts at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Cavs are coming off a 93-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday at The Q. Cleveland held the Wolves to 34-94 (.362) shooting from the field, including 5-28 (.179) from the three-point line.

So far this season, the Cavs are allowing just .405 shooting from the field (5th–lowest in the NBA) and .293 from beyond-the-arc (also 5th in the NBA). The 91.3 points per game allowed by the Cavs is the 2nd-lowest in the league.

Milwaukee comes into tonight's contest with a 1-2 record. The Bucks lost their home opener to the Toronto Raptors, 97-90, on the second night of a back-to-back this past Saturday.

First round pick, Nate Wolters, made his first start and finished with seven points and 10 assists, making him the first Buck to record 10+ assists within his first five career games since November 1986.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Earl Clark
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Bucks: PG - Gary Neal, SG - O.J. Mayo, SF - Caron Butler
PF - Ersan Ilyasova, C - Larry Sanders

Injuries: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Mild Sports Hernia, Out)

(Bucks) - Brandon Knight, (Right Hamstring Strain, Game-Time Decision), Carlos Delfino, (Post-Surgery, Right Foot, Out), Luke Ridnour, (Back Spasms, Game-Time Decision), Ekpe Udoh, (Post-Surgery, Right Knee, Questionable)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavs won the previous two meetings against the Bucks by an average of 8.5 points (103.5-95.0). All-time, the Wine and Gold are 79-112 against Milwaukee (48-47 Home, 31-64 Road).

The two teams squared off this preseason at The Q on October 8th with Tristan Thompson scoring a team-high 17 points as the Cavs defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 99-87.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defending the Rim

In the victory over Minnesota on Monday, the Cavs had a season-high 12 blocks. Seven Cavaliers players recorded at least one block, led by Andrew Bynum, who swatted three shots to go along with 10 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. Cleveland also had 12 blocks in a single game last season (vs. Utah on 3/6/13) but prior to that, the last time was November 16, 2007 (12 blocks against Utah).

Conversely, Milwaukee features one of the best shot blockers in the league with center Larry Sanders. Last season, Sanders finished second in the NBA with 2.8 blocks per game.

The team that does a better job defending the rim and protecting the paint should give themselves an advantage in tonight's ballgame.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

An evident strength for the Cavs through the first four games this season has been their depth at every position. Cleveland’s reserves are averaging 35.3 points per game in 2013-14 and had a 40-27 advantage in the win over Minnesota on Monday.

C.J. Miles is leading the bench crew with 14.8 points on .523 shooting from the field, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 20.5 minutes per game. Miles had a team-high 19 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 19 minutes in the win over the Timberwolves.

Milwaukee’s bench has outscored its opponents’ in all three of their games this season: 50-20 at NYK on 10/30; 66-34 at BOS on 11/1; 45-30 vs. TOR on 11/2.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: Fox Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM 205, Sirius 216

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check cavs.com for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

On Deck

After tonight's game against the Bucks, the Cavs face the Philadelphia 76ers for a home-and-home on Friday in Philly and Saturday at The Q.