GameDay Preview: Cavs at Jazz

RSS
Dion Waiters
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cavaliers open up their longest road trip of the season with a five-game, eight-day trip starting tonight in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz at 9:00 p.m. ET.

In four games in 2014, Cleveland (12-23) is holding opponents to a combined .393 (125-318) shooting from the field. The Wine and Gold are 6-1 in games this season that they hold their opponent to under .400 shooting from the field.

Utah (12-25) enters tonight's game having won four straight games at home. Gordon Hayward leads the Jazz in scoring at 17.1 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Jazz: PG - Trey Burke, SG - Gordon Hayward, SF - Richard Jefferson
PF - Marvin Williams, C - Derrick Favors

Status Update: (Cavs) - Jarrett Jack, (Lower Back Spasms, Probable)

(Jazz) - None to Report

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers split the two-game regular season series against the Jazz in 2012-13. In the two games against Utah, Cleveland averaged 21.5 assists to just 11.0 turnovers a game.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 42-51 against the Jazz (28-18 Home, 14-33 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Controlling the Glass

Utah starts a rather small frontcourt with Derrick Favors (6'-10") at center and Marvin Williams (6'-9") at the power forward. The Wine and Gold should look to capitalize off their size advantage by controlling the glass.

The Cavaliers have outrebounded each of their last five opponents by an average margin of 11.2 rebounds per game (51.8 to 40.6).

Since the calendar turned 2014, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao are averaging a combined 25.8 rebounds per game (four contests). On the season, Thompson (9.8) and Varejao (9.7) are pulling down 19.5 rebounds per game this season, which is the 2nd-highest for a rebounding duo in the Eastern Conference.

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

As mentioned, Utah's starting shooting guard Gordon Hayward is having a career season for the Jazz. Joining Hayward in the backcourt is rookie, Trey Burke from Michigan.

Burke was named the NBA’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played during the month of December. On the season, Burke is averaging 13.2 points and 5.2 assists.

Battling Burke and Hayward will be the Cavaliers backcourt trio of Kyrie Irving, C.J. Miles and Dion Waiters.

Irving is one of only three players in the NBA with averages of at least 22.0 points and 6.0 assists in 2013-14. With 2,974 career points, Irving is 26 points shy of 3,000 career points.

Miles - a former member of the Utah Jazz - has notched double figures in scoring in four straight games (since Jan. 2), averaging 22.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 31.8 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high 34 points on 11-18 (.611) shooting, including a career-high 10-14 (.714) from the three-point line, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 31 minutes versus Philadelphia on Tuesday. He set a Cavaliers record with 10 made three-points shots in a single game (Previous record: 8, four times) and became the only Cavaliers player to have two games of at least eight made three-pointers (12/29/12 at BKN).

Dion Waiters is the NBA’s 3rd highest bench scorer at 15.9 points per game, behind only LAL’s Nick Young (17.6) and LAC’s Jamal Crawford (16.0) (min. 21 games off bench). In the Jan. 19, 2013 matchup at Utah, Waiters led the Cavs with a game-high 23 points and three assists, to go along with a career-high 10 made free throws on 12 attempts in 28 minutes off the bench.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM 206, Sirius 212

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.

Programming Note

Tonight, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Jazz game (9:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Hurricanes game (7:00 p.m.). Click here for programming details.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs continue their road trip in Sacramento as they square off against the Kings on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET.