Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Game 44: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns Preview

 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

Injury Report:

Phoenix: Miles Plumlee (Day-to-day, ankle), Eric Bledsoe (Out, knee)

Cleveland: None

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.

Prediction:  

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.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers

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