GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Wizards

Emeka Okafor, Dion Waiters
Jason Miller/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (21-42) return home to take on the Washington Wizards (20-41) for the final meeting between the two teams this season. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland has been hot against the Eastern Conference lately, going 9-4 in their last 13 games, including 6-1 at The Q.

Through the first two games against Washington this season, the Cavs are averaging 15.0 offensive rebounds per game. Cleveland has pulled down at least 10 offensive boards 50 times this season and rank 4th in the Eastern Conference with 12.4 offensive rebounds per game (8th in the league). The Cavaliers lead the East in second chance points (15.4) and rank second in the NBA.

Washington comes into tonight's contest with a 5-24 record on the road (2-16 vs. East).

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Shaun Livingston, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller

Wizards: PG - John Wall, SG - Garrett Temple, SF - Martell Webster, PF - Nene, C - Emeka Okafor

Injuries: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving, (Left AC (acromioclavicular) Sprain, Out), Omri Casspi, (Appendectomy, Probable), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Wizards) - Leandro Barbosa (Torn Left ACL, Out), Bradley Beal, (Sprained Left Ankle, Day-to-Day)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series, 91-103, despite posting a 58-38 mark in games played at home.

The Cavs currently lead the season series 2-0. Cleveland is also 9-2 in the last 11 matchups with Washington at Quicken Loans Arena.

Key to the Game/Key Matchups

Key to the Game

Containing John Wall

After missing the first 33 games of the season with an injury, John Wall has made a huge difference since returning to the starting lineup. Wall is averaging 14.1 points, 7.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game in 28 games this season.

The Wizards are 15-13 since Wall has returned and have improved significantly in team points per game (+5.5) and field-goal percentage (+4.9%).

With Kyrie Irving out, the rest of the Cavaliers guards and perimeter players will have to keep Wall in check at both ends of the floor.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

While the Cavs' backcourt fights to contain Wall, the frontcourt battles the physical duo of Nene and Emeka Okafor.

Veteran center Emeka Okafor has been a steady presence in the middle for the Wizards this season. Okafor leads the team in starts (59) and since December 12th (43 games), he is averaging 10.6 points and 10.6 rebounds.

In his first full season in Washington, Nene is averaging 12.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 27.4 minutes per game in 46 games this season.

Tristan Thompson anchors the Wine and Gold bigs and has recorded double-doubles in both contests with Washington this season, averaging 13.5 points on .588 shooting and 11.0 rebounds in 34.5 minutes per game in those matchups.

Thompson has 18 double-doubles in his last 37 games and is averaging 13.5 points on .500 shooting, 10.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 32.8 minutes during that span.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM & Sirius 85, NBA League Pass Audio

Programming Notes:

Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. | Tipoff at 7:00 p.m.

• Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown/Erie, and Wheeling/Steubenville areas:
- Main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel
- Direct TV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio

• Columbus, Lima, Cincinnati, and Dayton, areas:
- The game is being made available to providers to air on the alternate FOX Sports Ohio cable channels. Alternate channel information can be found here:
- Direct TV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio