Last Time Out
Cleveland used strong 2nd and 3rd quarters to pull away from the hapless Milwaukee Bucks. Cleveland outrebounded Milwaukee 52 to 34, and turned in one of their better defensive outings of the season; only one Miwaukee player (Khris Middleton) scored more than 10 points in the game.
This Time Up
The Opponent: Phoenix Suns
Record: 24 – 18 (9 – 11 away)
Tipoff: Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. – Quicken Loans Arena
Where you can watch: Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League pass
Where you can listen: WTAM 1100
Previous Matchup: A 91 – 78 Phoenix win on Nov. 27, 2012
Opponent’s Blog: Sun-N-Gun
Phoenix: Miles Plumlee (Day-to-day, ankle), Eric Bledsoe (Out, knee)
Continue the strong defense:
Although the Bucks are the worst offense in the NBA, the Cavs still did a strong defensive showing, bottling up Brandon Knight. Against a Phoenix team missing Eric Bledsoe and having a SAWFT inside (Channing Frye, the Morris’s), I look for the Cavs to continue the strong defense and rebounding. The Suns often try to stretch the floor with their big men, so I look for Tristan and Andy to step out and contain the perimeter.
Get a win over a west team:
The East has been ridiculously bad against the West this year, so it would be important for the Cavs to get a win over a West team, particularly one over .500. I think this game is winnable based on the soft Phoenix interior (if Plumlee is out), and with the Cavs trying to make a playoff push, every game counts, especially when the East has been so bad over the West.
Cleveland is much better at home, and because this is a matchup on Streak For the Cash, I could definitely see the game going either way. Because the Suns’ bigs are a bit soft, I think Tristan and Andy have big games and the Cavs win 97 – 92.