Feb 8, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) tries to dribble around Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Anderson Varejao (17) at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Cleveland Cavaliers Preview: Cavs @ Clippers

Nov 3, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Alonzo Gee (33) (right) heads up court with the basketball as Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings (3) chases from behind during the second quarter at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2) will continue on their six-game road trip with a stop at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with a matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers (2-1). The game will take place at 10:30 p.m. on Monday, November 5. You can watch the game on FSOhio or listen to the radio broadcast at WTAM 1100.

After beating two playoff teams from last year in the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers, the Clippers had their two-game winning streak stopped by the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers, who are going into their second game of the road trip, are on a two-game skid right now after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on a game winner with less than one second to go. A matchup that everyone will be sure to keep their eye on is Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, but let’s look at some head-to-head statistics before we get into that.

Cavaliers (1-2, 0-1 away):

Offensive Efficiency – 96.0 (21st)

Pace – 96.0 (12th)

Turnover Ratio – 28.2 (26th)

Effective Field Goal Percentage – 48.8 (12th)

Defensive Efficiency – 104.0 (23rd)

Average Points – 94.0 (21st)

Average Rebounds – 43.0 (12th)

Average Assists – 21.3 (14th)

Average Points Allowed – 101.3 (24th)

Clippers (2-1, 1-1 home):

Offensive Efficiency – 104.0 (5th)

Pace – 99.0 (1st)

Turnover Ratio – 26.6 (23rd)

Effective Filed Goal Percentage – 51.5 (8th)

Defensive Efficiency – 102.0 (21st)

Average Points – 105.3 (4th)

Average Rebounds – 36.3 (28th)

Average Assists – 23.3 (7th)

Average Points Allowed – 100.3 (22nd)

After making a valiant comeback against the Bucks on Saturday night, the Cavaliers fell short to their second Central Division rival in the same amount of days. Brandon Jennings ended the game with a three pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining on the clock. We saw the Wine and Gold get behind and never see a Chicago lead of under 20 points for the remainder of the game, but the team came together and rebounded right after a short time before their next game.

I trust that Cleveland can come away with some upset wins during this six-game trip, and I think that this is one of the games that the Cavaliers can win. When we look at the starting lineups for these two teams, we have some matchups that may seem one-sided on paper. Here is why the Cavaliers may have an edge in that category.

The Cleveland backcourt will take some time to develop, but right now Kyrie Irving is playing at a level that can push Dion Waiters to become a better role player. Going up against Chris Paul, who was also coached under Byron Scott and accounts for over half of his team’s assists, will be a challenge that many have been looking forward to for a while. Irving needs to keep clean form and outscore perhaps the best floor general in the game, and that will help Waiters with his most favorable matchup thus far against Willie Green. Jamal Crawford coming off the bench, however, might be the one surefire advantage for the Clippers.

The Clippers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league right now, and going up against Anderson Varejao isn’t boding very well for them right now. Varejao has dominated the boards thus far, and Tristan Thompson has been a very good sidekick to Andy in the paint. Blake Griffin will give Thompson some practice with testing his physicalness, but I think the former Texas Longhorn is looking forward to this game. Varejao will have another 15-rebound night.

Alonzo Gee had a breakout performance against the Bucks, and he is much more reliable than C.J. Miles has been so far. The promising preseason star was been nothing short of a disappointment, averaging 3.3 points and shooting 18.2 percent from the field. That’s inexcusable, and Caron Butler might see extended minutes just so he has that matchup with Miles. Gee is athletic enough to hold Butler down for a good portion of the night. The bench will be the deciding factor in the game, though, and that spells out trouble for the Cavs. The starters will have to take on more lengthy minute assignments if Cleveland wants to compete for a playoff spot. There are a few gaping holes in the rotation right now, and opponents already have found out how to address them.

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Tags: Anderson Varejao Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters Kyrie Irving

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