GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. 76ers
The Cleveland Cavaliers (2-8) return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight to face the Philadelphia 76ers (7-4) at 7:00 p.m.
The Wine and Gold look to end a six-game losing streak while the Sixers rallied from seven down after three quarters in their last game on Tuesday to beat Toronto 106-98 for their third consecutive win.
The Cavs come into tonight’s contest as the NBA’s leader in second chance points allowed (8.4). In Sunday’s game against the Sixers, Cleveland matched their season-high with 18 offensive rebounds, which led to a 20-11 advantage in second chance points. Cleveland ranks 3rd in second chance points (16.1) and has tied or outrebounded their opponent on the offensive end in nine of their 10 games so far with an average of 13.3 offensive rebounds per game (6th) to their opponents’ 8.7, which is the lowest in the NBA.
Philadelphia allows the fourth-lowest opponent points per game (90.82 ppg) and is 4-0 when holding opponents below 90 points this season.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Jeremy Pargo, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
76ers: PG - Jrue Holiday, SG - Jason Richardson, SF - Evan Turner
PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Kwame Brown
Injuries: (Cavs) - Luke Harangody (Right Knee Orthoscopy, Out), Kyrie Irving (Hairline/Non-Displaced Fracture in Left Index Finger, Out), Daniel Gibson (Right Elbow Soreness, Out),
(76ers) - Andrew Bynum (Right Knee Bone Bruise, Out)
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Sixers, 98-87, posting a 50-41 mark in games played at home with the Sixers holding a 57-35 advantage while playing in their own arena.
Philadelphia currently holds a six-game winning streak against the Wine and Gold; however, prior to that, the Cavaliers had won 14 of the previous 17 games against the Sixers. The two teams met this past Sunday with the Sixers prevailing 86-79 in Philadelphia despite double-doubles by Anderson Varejao (14 points, 15 rebounds) and Tristan Thompson (14 points, 13 rebounds).
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the GameStepping Up
With Kyrie Irving out, and a couple of guys banged up, the Cavaliers roster will need contributions from everyone whom gets their number called.
The backcourt will be looked upon to carry most of the void left by Irving's absence starting with backup point guards Jeremy Pargo and Donald Sloan. Sloan has appeared in eight games this season, averaging 2.6 points and 2.0 assists in just over 10 minutes per game. Pargo has seen limited action this season playing in three games while averaging 2.7 points and 1.3 assists in 7.7 minutes per contest.
Along with Sloan and Pargo, Dion Waiters will look to step up in the backcourt. Waiters is currently averaging 13.7 points per game, which ranks 3rd among all NBA rookies. He is also 4th among all rookie qualifiers in three-point field goal percentage (.426, 20-47), while ranking 2nd in minutes (29.2).
Cavs Offense vs. Sixers Defense
As mentioned, the Sixers are one of the league's best defensive teams this season; however, Philly is just 1-3 when giving up 100+ points and dating back to last season, they are just 2-14.
Furthermore, the Sixers were 7-23 when failing to hold opponents below 90 points last season (2-4 this season).
The Cavaliers offense must force an up-tempo game. Cleveland ranks 3rd in forced turnovers per game (17.4) and 7th in opponent rebounds per game (40.4), so they should look to convert those turnovers into fastbreak opportunities and rebounds into quick outlets to get out and run.
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