The Cavaliers are a little banged up but they’ve had three days to nurse their injuries. They’ll hit the road and take the floor against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. And here’s how the teams match up:
Jrue Holiday vs. Mo Williams
Holiday comes in averaging 6.9 points and three assists a night for the 76ers. He is shooting the basketball at about 41 percent from downtown but does not average very many attempts per game. Mo Williams seemed to reacquire his stroke on Monday night against the Spurs but walked away with a finger injury. Mo should be good to go for Friday night’s matchup with the Sixers and should have his way with the young Holiday.
Advantage: Mo Williams
Louis Williams vs. Anthony Parker
The Cavaliers reported that Anthony Parker had his finger “reduced,” I believe that’s just a less-painful way of saying “jammed” but AP should be A-OK for Friday night’s matchup as well. He’ll be matched up against Louis Williams, who is averaging better than 14 points and 4 assists a night for the 76ers. Like I’ve said before, Parker shows up to play some D against the superstars but he seems to let up a bit against guys like Williams.
I’d expect Parker to keep the young guard in check and I keep waiting for AP to have a break-out performance. Could this be the night?
Advantage: Louis Williams
Andre Iguodala vs. LeBron James
Andre Iguodala was one of the many players on the Cavaliers’ radar this past deadline but Danny Ferry elected to pursue the services of Antawn Jamison instead. Good choice. Iggy comes in averaging 16.8 points, better than 6.5 rebounds and nearly 6 assists a night for the Sixers. However, he’s not LeBron James. Nobody is LeBron James. The King is back and ready to reclaim his throne and I expect him to produce another episode of “How’d He Do That?!”
Advantage: LeBron James
Elton Brand vs. JJ Hickson
Elton Brand comes in averaging 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per night but second-year forward JJ Hickson has played extremely well as of late. The only problem is, he seems to get a little complacent after a few solid outings. With Shaq shelved for a while and Stretch-4 doubtful for Friday night, Hickson has a chance to earn some playoff PT. I expect the Baby Bull to double-up against the aging Brand on Friday.
Advantage: JJ Hickson
Samuel Dalembert vs..Anderson Varejao
Samuel Dalembert doesn’t do much scoring for the 76ers but is averaging almost 10 rebounds a night. Anderson Varejao can rebound a little bit though too. And Anderson Varejao is quite the pest in the painted area. I expect the second half of Cleveland’s starting big men to double-up on Friday night as well.
Advantage: Anderson Varejao
Philadelphia Bench vs. Cleveland Bench
Even with all the nagging injuries, Cleveland still manages to come away with victories against teams like San Antonio (who were a little banged up themselves). The Cavs are much deeper than most of the teams in the league. Philly won’t be able to match up.
Advantage: Cleveland Bench