Washington Wizards vs Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
Wizards 26-33 vs Cavaliers 21-38
When: Sunday, April 25th, at 7p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCSWA, NBA League Pass / Radio: WFED 1500 AM
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out/ Left ACL Surgery), Rui Hachimura (Out/ Knee), Deni Avdija (Out/ Right Leg Fracture)
Cavaliers: Damyean Dotson (Questionable/ Knee), Taurean Prince (Out/ Ankle), Collin Sexton (Out/Concussion), Dylan Windler (Out/Knee)
114.4 - points per game
117.8 - points against
47.0 - Field Goal %
104.0 - points per game
110.9 - points against
45.4 - Field Goal %
Keep an eye on:
Collin Sexton: being out with a concussion is a BIG blow to the Cavaliers in a game they absolutely NEED to try and keep pace with Chicago, Toronto and Washington for the play-in spots. Sexton is the Cavs leading scorer, averaging 24.5 points a game on 48 percent shooting from the field, 37 percent from deep and 81 percent from the line, as well as their defensive ace on the perimeter. For a team that struggles as much as the Cavs do offensively to score and score efficiently, Sexton's production not being available hurts a lot. Expect the offense to go through Garland and forward Kevin Love, who has had his share of success against Washington, more in tonight's game.
Darius Garland: has validated why he was taken with the 5th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after only playing five games total in his one season at Vanderbilt. The second year floor general has improved in just about every statistical category and has emerged as one of the more efficient scorers in the NBA, averaging 17.6 points on 45 percent shooting from the floor, 40 percent shooting from 3-point range while hitting 83 percent from the charity stripe. Adding to his overall game is his ability to facilitate well, posting 6 assists per game. Washington has to be alert for Garland to be extra aggressive tonight, especially with Sexton being out.
Russell Westbrook/Brad Beal: continuing to lead Washington up the standings and more into the playoff picture in the eastern conference. The numbers speak for themselves, however, it's the leadership during the games that has most to do with Washington being on a seven game win streak. Beal and Russ won't let the team get complacent as they ramp things up for a playoff push. The only negative during this streak regarding Beal and Russ have been the turnovers. They have to limit them, which they know and have spoken on throughout the season. In the clutch, Beal and Russ have been especially great as of late as well. Beal is ranked 19th in the NBA in clutch scoring at 3.6 points, while Russ, is ranked 16th in clutch scoring, averaging 3.8 points on a ridiculous 57 percent shooting from the field. If the game is close, these two are very capable of closing teams out.
Battle Inside The Paint: between Daniel Gafford and Jarrett Allen should be a fun one. Both are similar in what they bring to the floor being 6'11 athletic centers, who can run the floor, block shots and of course finish consistently above the rim. When either player has it going, they can disrupt a LOT of what opponents like to do. Gafford since joining Washington is averaging 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2 blocks on 65 percent shooting. Allen since joining the Cavs, is averaging 13.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks on 62 percent shooting from the field. I know all eyes will be on the star power in the respective backcourts, however, the game more than likely will be won in the paint and these two will be heavily involved in that outcome.