GameDay Preview: Cavs at Nets
The Cleveland Cavaliers (2-5) will wrap up their six-game road trip tonight in their first-ever meeting with the Brooklyn Nets (3-2) at the Barclays Center, tip off at 7:30 p.m.
The Wine and Gold look to end a three-game losing streak while the Nets are looking to notch their third-straight victory.
Cleveland comes into tonight’s contest as the NBA’s leader in second chance points allowed (7.7). Additionally, the Cavs are among the NBA’s Top 10 leaders in other categories including sixth in three-point field goal percentage, seventh in opponent rebounds per game and eight in steals per game.
Brooklyn has the ninth-best rebounding percentage in the NBA this season, the eight-best defensive rebounding percentage and the 11th-best offensive rebounding percentage. Opponents have grabbed the fifth-fewest total rebounds so far this year.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Nets: PG - Deron Williams, SG - Keith Bogans, SF - Joe Johnson
PF - Kris Humphries, C - Brook Lopez
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers lead the all-time series against the Nets, 87-67, posting a 55-23 mark in games played at home with the Nets holding a 44-32 advantage while playing in their own arena.
The Wine and Gold are 11-5 over their last 16 matchups with the Nets, which includes a 6-2 mark as the road team. The two teams split last season’s four-game series as Tristan Thompson averaged a near double-double with 14.0 points on .658 shooting, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 25.6 minutes per game. Kyrie Irving appeared in three of the four contests against the Nets in 2011-12 and averaged 23.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 30.3 minutes for the Cavs.
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the GameFinish Strong
The Wine and Gold are one of the NBA's best in the first three minutes of the game as evident in their last two games against the Suns and Thunder where they jumped out to early leads. However, the Cavaliers have had troubles sustaining their leads and finishing the game strong.
Not only will finishing the game be important, but closing out the road trip with a win would go a long way for the young Cavs as they will have three days to prepare for their next game against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, November 17th at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Big Men Battle
As mentioned, both the Cavaliers and Nets are among the league leaders in rebounding and the battle in the paint will be a key factor in tonight's contest.
The Wine and Gold are led by the one-two punch of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao. This season, Anderson Varejao is averaging career highs of 12.7 points on .552 (32-58) shooting, 13.0 rebounds (2nd in NBA), 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.5 minutes per game. His 4.0 offensive rebounds per game are tied for ninth in the league. In his rookie season, Thompson had arguably his two best games against the Nets on the road averaging 22.0 points and 13.5 rebounds.
The Nets counter with Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. Humphries is averaging 11.0 points and 13.3 rebounds over his last three games, and currently ranks 14th in the NBA with 9.8 rebounds per game. Lopez is a force down-low, and comes into the matchup averaging 16.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Where to Catch the Action