Things just keep getting worse and worse for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there is no time to stop and take a take a look at the blossoming scenes of a Cleveland spring. In a shortened 66-game year no team has really had the time to rest and work on fundamentals, something that most Cavalier players came to camp without. It’s been said by a frustrated head coach Byron Scott that only a few players have completely learned the playbook, resulting in many miscommunications on the court.
A stretch of 11 games in 17 days awaits the Cavaliers tonight at Bradley Center as the Milwaukee Bucks play host to the Cavaliers Wednesday night at 8. Coming off an 8-game losing streak, in which the Bucks handed the Cavaliers one of their most disappointing losses of the season, the Cavaliers are looking to avoid a fourth embarrassing loss at the hands of the Bucks.
To make it seem even more impossible that the Cavaliers will leave Milwaukee with a W, it was announced Wednesday that Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving did not make the trip to Wisconsin and will likely miss seven to 10 days. All I have to say is keep Anderson Varejao out as long as you can to ensure he is in the best shape possible when he comes to training camp next season.
Cavaliers (17-34, 8-16 away):
Key offensive statistics: 23rd ranked offense in the NBA according to Newsday, averaging 93.2 points, 42.3 field goal percentage, 34.92 three-point percentage, 70.5 free throw percentage and 1.37 assist/turnover ratio
Key defensive statistics: 25th ranked defense in the NBA according to Newsday, averaging 99.7 points allowed, 46.3 field goal percentage, 36.70 three-point percentage, 4.10 blocks, 7.41 steals and 42.6 rebounds
Player to watch: Tristan Thompson will have to step it up for the Cavaliers as they’ll be lacking star power once agains with the absences of Varejao and Irving. Thompson has done everything that the Cavaliers organization has asked him to do, and that includes stepping in as the starting center.
Bucks (25-28, 12-12 home):
Key offensive statistics: 8th ranked offense in the NBA according to Newsday, averaging 98.7 points, 44.0 field goal percentage, 34.68 three-point percentage, 78.6 free throw percentage and 1.73 assist/turnover ratio
Key defensive statistics: 21st ranked defense in the NBA according to Newsday, averaging 98.4 points allowed, 45.0 field goal percentage, 35.38 three-point percentage, 4.74 blocks, 8.25 steals and 41.9 rebounds
Player to watch: Monta Ellis will be trouble for the Cavaliers guards on Wednesday night. Ellis, who is averaging 20.3 points and 5.9 assists, will not have Kyrie Irving to worry about, but will do battle with Donald Sloan, Anthony Parker and Manny Harris. Look for Ellis to have a great start to the game, as he’ll be trying to tire out some of the Cavaliers young and inexperienced players.
Cavaliers – Anderson Varejao, wrist, expected to return next week. Kyrie Irving, shoulder, expected to be out one week. Daniel Gibson, ankle, out for season.
Bucks – Drew Gooden, back, listed as probable. Beno Udrih, hand, listed as questionable. Carlos Delfino, groin, listed as doubtful. Kwame Brown, chest, expected to return late April.