Friday, March 29, 7:30 PM at Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
28-43 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
22-48 (5th Central, 13th East)
TV: Comcast SportsNet Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
THE ENEMY: S. LIVINGSTON | W. ELLINGTON | A. GEE | T. THOMPSON | T. ZELLER
Bruised And Battered Cavs
When the Sixers face off against the Cavaliers Friday night, they'll play a Cleveland team that will be without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (shoulder), impressive rookie combo guard Dion Waiters (knee), or veteran big man Anderson Varejao (knee surgery/blood clot in lung). Although the team has played without Varejao for much of the season, the loss of Irving and Waiters is a new hurdle for this young Cavs team.
With that dynamic backcourt duo out of the lineup, Cleveland has relied heavily upon guards Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington, both of whom had notched just 13 combined starts prior to Irving and Waiters' injuries.
In 49 games with Irving in the lineup this season, Cleveland is 17-32. In 21 games without him, they are 5-16.
After suffering one of the most graphic on-court injuries in recent memory in 2007, former fourth-overall pick Shaun Livingston has slowly worked his way back into the NBA scene. Told immediately following the catastrophic left knee injury (in which he tore his ACL and PCL, sprained his MCL, and dislocated his patella and tibia-femora joint) that his that the limb may need to be amputated, Livingston eventually recovered, rehabbing for a year and a half before returning to basketball activities in the summer of 2008 and signing a two-year deal with the Miami Heat shortly after.
Since the point guard's return to the league in 2008-09, he has played for seven different teams, most recently the Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving's recent shoulder injury has propelled Livingston into Cleveland's starting lineup; he has averaged 12.7 points (50.6 FG%), 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 31.9 minutes in his last seven games, all starts. The 6-7 point guard has failed to hit double-digit points in just one of those seven starts, scoring eight against the Pacers on March 18.
After notching 15 double-doubles in his first two seasons in Philadelphia (2010-12), center Spencer Hawes has logged 16 in 2012-13, including five in the past seven games. Over that stretch, he's been outstanding, averaging 16.0 points (54.7 FG%, 44.4 3P%), 11.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 3.0 blocks in 34.1 minutes per game.
A look at Spencer Hawes' shooting efficiency through the first 64 games of this season compared to that of his last seven gives us an idea why (green = above league average FG%, yellow = approximately league average FG%, red = below league average FG%)
Hawes' Shot Chart Over Last Seven Games (Mouse Over For Preceding 64 Games)
Misc. Statistical Notes
• Over Cleveland's last five games, all losses, they've allowed a league-worst 107.4 points on 49.6% from the floor.
• Of those five games, all were against playoff-bound teams – BOS, HOU, IND, MIA, SAS.
• Through two meetings between the Cavaliers and Sixers this year, Cleveland is averaging 85.5 points on 38.2% shooting, while Philly is averaging 84.5 ppg on 39.2% FGs.
• In those two games, the Cavs out-rebounded the Sixers by an average of 11.5 boards per game.
• In two meetings this season, Evan Turner is averaging 15.5 points (50.0 FG%), 8.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists; Alonzo Gee is averaging 15.5 points (55.0 FG%).