GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Bucks

Tyler Zeller, Larry Sanders
Mike McGinnis/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (5-18) play their second consecutive Central Division opponent in the Milwaukee Bucks (11-9) tonight at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Wine and Gold just wrapped up their seventh of 22 back-to-back sets this season and are in the midst of playing five straight back-to-back sets for the first time since 2003-04 season.

Milwaukee comes into tonight's contest riding a three-game winning streak. The Bucks victory in Brooklyn on Sunday gave the team 10 wins through 19 games this season, the fastest the Bucks have reached 10 wins since the 2005-06 season.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Bucks: PG - Brandon Jennings, SG - Monta Ellis, SF - Marquis Daniels
PF - Luc Mbah a Moute, C - Samuel Dalembert

Injuries: (Cavs) - Omri Casspi, (Gastroenteritis, Out), Dion Waiters, (Left Ankle Sprain, Out)
(Bucks) - Mike Dunleavy, (Bruised Left Knee, Out), Tobias Harris (Right Elbow Laceration, Out), Doron Lamb (Illness, Probable), Larry Sanders (Illness, Probable), Ekpe Udoh (Left Wrist Sprain, Questionable), Beno Udrih (Right Ankle Sprain, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Bucks lead the Cavaliers in the all-time series, 111-77, including a 64-30 mark in games played in Milwaukee, but the Cavaliers have a 47-46 advantage playing at home. The Cavs hold a 14-4 home record against the Bucks over the last 18 games played at The Q.

Tonight's matchup is the second of four regular season contests between the two teams. On Nov. 3rd in Milwaukee, Kyrie Irving scored the Cavs’ last 13 points of the game and finished with a team-high 27 points on 10-18 (.556) shooting, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes. Anderson Varejao recorded his first double-double of the season with 20 points on 10-13 (.769) shooting and a game-high 17 rebounds, while Alonzo Gee tallied 18 points and a career-high six assists.

Key to the Game/Key Matchups

Key to the Game

Interior Offense/Defense
You can bet that head coach Byron Scott has "pump fakes" somewhere on the scouting report.

While the Bucks are the league’s best when it comes to blocking shots (7.6, 1st in NBA), they are also doing a good job of avoiding being swatted themselves. Milwaukee ranks fourth in the NBA for fewest opponent blocks per game with 4.0.

Conversely, the Cavaliers are last in block shots per game (3.0) and get their attempts blocked the second-most times per contest at 7.7. Needless to say, a key to tonight's game will be the Wine and Gold's ability to compete at the rim at both ends of the floor.

Key Matchups

Cavs backcourt vs. Bucks backcourt
Both teams start offensively-gifted backcourt tandems. The matchup between the Cavaliers' backcourt of Kyrie Irving and C.J. Miles versus Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis should dictate the tempo of the game.

In his first two starts of the season, C.J. Miles has tallied 28 points in each contest. Miles has scored in double figures in five straight games, averaging 18.8 points and shooting .517 (15-29) from deep in 23.8 minutes per game over that stretch. Kyrie Irving comes into tonight's game leading the Cavaliers in points (22.2) and assists (5.9).

Jennings and Ellis are among the top scoring backcourt duos in the league, combining for 35.9 points per game. Not only can they score, but the pair also creates opportunities for their teammates, ranking first (Jennings, 6.1) and second (Ellis, 5.7) on their team in assists.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 204, Sirius 128, NBA League Pass Audio

Tonight's Promotions

  • Theme: Cleveland's Top Talent
  • Theme (2): Kids Postgame Free Throws
  • Toy Drive: Help underserved children throughout the Northeast Ohio community enjoy the magic of the holiday season by donating new, unwrapped toys to the 2012 Cavaliers and Monsters Holiday Toy Drive. More Info
  • Family Packs: Includes four Cavs tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas starting as low as $79 – or $19.75 per person, for a $41 savings! Buy Tickets
  • Friday Night Out: Grab a best friend, girlfriend or just someone from the office and enjoy two tickets plus a loaded ticket value starting at $50. Buy Tickets