GameDay Preview: Cavs at Clippers
The Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2) head west for game two of their six-game road trip to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (2-1), tonight at the Staples Center.
Both teams come into the contest looking to bounce back from tough losses this past Saturday as Wine and Gold fell at the buzzer to the Milwaukee Bucks 105-102 and the Clippers dropped a nail-biter, 114-110, to the Golden State Warriors at home.
Guards, Kyrie Irving (23.7 ppg) and Jamal Crawford (25.7 ppg), both lead their respective teams in scoring. Through three games, Irving has also averaged 4.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists while his counterpart in tonight's game, Chris Paul, has posted averages of 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 12.3 assists on the young season.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Clippers: PG - Chris Paul, SG - Willie Green, SF - Caron Butler
PF - Blake Griffin, C - DeAndre Jordan
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers lead the all-time series, 67-47, including a 43-15 mark in games played at home, but the Clippers have a 32-24 advantage while playing in California.
The Wine and Gold have beaten the Clippers ten out of their last eleven meetings, including a 99-92 victory in the two team's only matchup last season.
Key to the Game/Key Matchups
Key to the Game
Forcing Tough Shots
The Clippers come into the game with the league's fifth-highest scoring team thus far at 105.3 points per game. Furthermore, they rank in the top ten in field-goal percentage, converting on nearly 47 percent of their shots. Conversely, the Cavaliers have allowed opponents to shoot just under 50 percent from the floor.
The Wine and Gold must clamp down on defense and force the Clippers into tough shots, limiting the amount of lobs, dunks and Chris Paul's penetration into the paint.
Tristan Thompson vs. Blake Griffin
Clippers forward Blake Griffin has feasted on the Cavaliers, averaging 29.0 points in three career games versus Cleveland. It is the third-highest scoring average for Griffin against a team in the NBA.
Tristan Thompson's activity at both ends of the floor must match Griffin's. Thompson comes into tonight's contest averaging 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while Griffin has posted averages of 15.0 points and 8.7 rebounds.
Cavs athleticism vs. Clippers athleticism
Both teams are extremely athletic and like to play an up-tempo style of offense.
With quick guards like Irving, Paul, Dion Waiters, Eric Bledsoe and big men Thompson, Griffin, Tyler Zeller, DeAndre Jordan who like to finish at the rim, the Cavaliers and Clippers athleticism will play a key factor in tonight's contest.
Where to Catch the Action