Washington Wizards vs Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
Wizards 14-8 vs Cavaliers 12-10
When: Friday, Dec 3rd, at 7p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBCS Washington, Bally Sports Ohio
Radio: The Team 980, WFED 1500 AM/ WTAM/ WMMS/ WNZN
Wizards: Thomas Bryant (Out, Left ACL), Rui Hachimura ( Out, Personal), Deni Avdija (Day to Day, Illness), Aaron Holiday (Day to Day, Illness), Isaiah Todd (Day to Day, Toe)
Cavaliers: Cedi Osman (Out, Back), Collin Sexton (Out for Season, Knee), Dean Wade (Doubtful, Calf)
Keep an eye on:
Front Courts: is an understatement. Washington center Daniel Gafford has been playing like a man possessed over the last few games. He's coming off a 18 points, 10 rebound, 3 block performance in Washington's win over Minnesota. His impact finishing inside on offense and being a deterrent defensively has helped spark the Wizards to 3rd place in the Eastern Conference currently. He's not alone. Montrezl Harrell rebounded from a subpar performance in a disheartening loss at San Antonio on Monday, with a MONSTER game in Washington's win over Minnesota. Trez finished with a team high 27 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists on 11-12 shooting from the field. 10 of his 11 field goals were dunks. Gaff and Trez will need to bring the same level of focus and energy tonight to ward off Clevelands rapidly improving twin towers of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.
Allen and Mobley comes in to Capital One fresh off a dominating win over the wounded Miami Heat where the inside tandem combined for 36 points, 22 rebounds, 9 blocks and 5 assists on 12-18 shooting from the field, 2-3 from 3-point range (Mobley) and 10-10 from the line. Both teams rely heavily on high level production from their bigs on both ends, whichever duo owns the paint will more than likely have their team walking off the floor with a win in hand.
Make Shots: is what should be the focus for Washington's guards tonight. In a win over Minnesota Wednesday night, Brad Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and reserve point guard Raul Neto combined to shoot 15-of-46 (32.6%) from the field and 5-of-19 (26.3%) from deep. Most nights, that would've been a loss. They have to step it up and play to the level we all know they're capable of playing at and make shots. Darius Garland, Ricky Rubio and 6'11 wing Lauri Markkanen aren't easy wins and all three are three level scorers in their own right. With the Cavs having the elite rim protection that they have, baskets in the paint will be hard to come by, which puts even more emphasis on knocking down perimeter shots to spread the floor or it will be a difficult night for in Capital One for the Wizards. Reminder, in Washingtons 97-94 win over Cleveland back on November 11th, Markkanen didn't play and Garland finished with 19 points on 8-16 shooting while Rubio added 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists on 6-15 shooting off the bench. Like I said, they aren't easy wins.