GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Pistons

Kyrie Irving
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold host the Detroit Pistons tonight at The Q. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (31-47) brings a 5-3 record over the last eight games coming into tonight’s contest. Cleveland has also won four straight games against Central Division foes.

The Cavs are coming off an overtime contest at The Q on Saturday versus the Bobcats, which is Cleveland’s eighth overtime game of the season.

On Saturday versus the Bobcats, Cleveland held Charlotte to 34-91 (.374) shooting from the field, which is the 15th time this season they have held an opponent to under .400 shooting.

Detroit (29-49) enters tonight's game on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Hawks 102-95 last night in Atlanta.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Spencer Hawes

Pistons: PG - Brandon Jennings, SG - Kyle Singler, SF - Josh Smith
PF - Earl Monroe, C - Andre Drummond

Status Update: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Left patellar Stress Fracture, Out), Anthony Bennett, (Left Patellar Tendon Strain, Out), C.J. Miles, (Left Ankle Sprain, Out)

(Pistons) - Will Bynum, (Sore Left Foot, Out), Josh Harrellson, (Small Tear of the Meniscus, Left Knee, Out), Chauncey Billups, (Left Knee Surgery, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavs hold a 2-1 record versus the Pistons in 2013-14. In their most recent matchup on Mar. 26 at Detroit, Dion Waiters hit a game-winning jump shot as time expired for a 97-96 victory. In that game, Cleveland trailed by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter but outscored the Pistons 31-14 in the final period, which included a 10-0 run to close out the game.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 80-117 against Detroit (51-47 Home, 29-70 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Ball Movement

Detroit has struggled at the defensive end this season, ranking in the bottom five in opponent field goal percentage (.469) and points allowed (104.2).

The Wine and Gold have done a superb job of sharing the basketball as of late.

In 11 games since March 18, the Cavs are hitting on .469 of their shots while averaging 23.5 assists. As a result, Cleveland has shot at least .500 from the field in five of those 11 games, scoring 100.5 points per game over that stretch.

If the Cavaliers move the basketball and make the Pistons work on the defensive end, they should get plenty of good looks at the basket.

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

The Cavaliers have increased their pace on the offensive end of the floor averaging 16.0 fast break points over the last five games.

The increased tempo is spearheaded by the Cavs backcourt of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Matthew Dellavedova.

Irving recorded a career-high 44 points on 16-31 (.516) shooting, including 5-9 (.556) from the three-point line, seven rebounds, a game-high eight assists and three steals in 43 minutes against the Bobcats on Saturday.

Since re-entering the starting lineup (11 games), Waiters is averaging 21.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 38.6 minutes per game. Waiters has recorded seven 20-point performances in the last 10 contests.

In three games against the Pistons this season, Dellavedova is averaging 11.3 points on .647 (11-17) shooting, including .750 (6-8) from the three-point line, and 4.7 assists in 25.0 minutes per game. In the Mar. 26 win over the Pistons, Dellavedova hit a career-high five triples and finished with a career-high 21 points on 7-9 (.778) shooting, three rebounds, a team-high six assists and one steal in 36 minutes off the bench.

Detroit's backcourt is led by their point guard Brandon Jennings. In the two teams' last meeting, Jennings recorded his 17th double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 assists.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: 100.7 WMMS, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 219

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

Be sure to check 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 – Pistons game (7:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Stars game (8:30 p.m.). Click Here for programming details.


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On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs travel to Milwaukee on Firday night to take on the Bucks at 8:30 p.m. ET.