GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Pistons
The Cleveland Cavaliers (24-53) return home to square off against the Detroit Pistons (26-52) for the fourth and final time this season. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Through three games against the Pistons this season, the Cavs are averaging 47.0 rebounds per game, including 17.7 boards on the offensive glass. Those offensive rebounds have led to 18.7 second chance points in the series. Cleveland has grabbed at least 20 offensive rebounds in two games against Detroit this season.
The last time these two teams squared off on Feb. 1, Cleveland’s reserves outscored the Piston’s bench, 54-36. Their 54 bench points were a season-high.
For Detroit, center Greg Monroe and point guard Brandon Knight spearhead the Pistons inside/outside attack. Monroe leads the team in points (15.9) and rebounds (9.5) per game.
Knight has given the Wine and Gold problems all season, averaging 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists in three matchups.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Wayne Ellington, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller
Pistons: PG - Brandon Knight, SG - Rodney Stuckey, SF - Kyle Singler
PF - Greg Monroe, C - Greg Monroe
Injuries: (Cavs) - C.J. Miles, (Forehead Laceration/Concussion, Out), Daniel Gibson, (Sore Right Elbow, Doubtful), Luke Walton, (Sore Right Ankle, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out), Dion Waiters, (Left Knee Soreness, Probable)
(Pistons) Jose Calderon, (Strained Right Triceps, Day-to-Day), Jason Maxiell, (Detached Retina, Out)
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Pistons 78-115, posting a 51-45 mark in games played at home with the Pistons tallying a 70-27 record in games played in their home arena.
The last time the two Central Division foes met on February 1st, Tristan Thompson led the Cavaliers with 19 points while Marreese Speights added 17 and eight rebounds off the bench.
STATS Fun Fact
Tyler Zeller had a solid perimeter shooting performance for the Cavaliers last night in Indiana to the tune of 18 points. At home this season, Zeller is shooting 53.8% (28-52) in "Catch & Shoot" opportunities from 15-20 feet.
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the Game
The Wine and Gold are on the second leg of a back-to-back while the Pistons come into tonight's game well rested. Needless to say, the Cavaliers will have to come out aggressive at both ends of the floor to match Detroit's energy.
At the offensive end, Cleveland should look to increase the pace of the game in hopes of scoring early and often. In Detroit's 26 wins this season, Pistons' opponents are averaging 90.8 points per game vs. 102.8 in their 52 losses. Thirteen of 26 opponents in wins were held to 90 points or less.
Defensively, the Cavaliers will have to continue to be solid. Over their last three games, the Cavs are totaling 22 blocks (7.3) and holding opponents to a combined .395 shooting from the field and just .216 (11-51) from beyond the arc.
Tristan Thompson vs. Greg Monroe
Tonight's power forward matchup features two young, emerging big men in the aforementioned, Thompson and Monroe.
In his second NBA season, Thompson has improved in all facets of his game and is averaging career-highs in points (11.5) and rebounds (9.3). Against the Pistons this season, Thompson is averaging 12.6 points
Furthermore, Thompson has grabbed four offensive rebounds or more in 40 games in 2012-13, which is the 2nd-most in the NBA (Zach Randolph-41). Thompson’s 3.7 offensive rebounds per game are tied for 4th in the league. He also leads the Cavs with 28 double-doubles, including three in the last six games.
Monroe is also a double-double machine, recording a career-high 35 double-doubles this season which ranks as the most by a Piston since Grant Hill had 36 in both 96-97 and 97-98.
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