LAST TIME OUT
The Cavaliers lost a hearbreaker at home to Charlotte in overtime, effectively ending the Cavaliers playoff hopes this year. Despite a tremendous performance by Kyrie Irving (44 points, 16 – 31 FG), the rest of the Cavaliers struggled mightily offensively, with only one other player (Dion Waiters) scoring in double-figures for the Wine and Gold. With still a very slim chance to make the playoffs, the Cavs should come out and still play hard against a Pistons team they should beat.
THIS TIME UP
The Opponent: Detroit Pistons
Record: 29 – 49 (12 – 26 away)
Tipoff: Wednesday, April 9th at 7:00 – Quicken Loans Arena
Where you can watch: Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Where you can listen: WTAM 1100
Previous Matchup: 97 – 96 Win in Detroit on March 26th
Opponent’s Blog: Life on Dumars
Pistons: Josh Smith (Day-to-day, knee), Will Bynum (Day-to-Day, foot)
Keep the Effort Level Up / Play Like Your Job Depends on It
Despite having almost no chance to make the playoffs, it is still mathematically possible. With that being said, there is no reason for the Cavs to still not come out and play with a sense of urgency. In addition, with the offseason looming, this is the last chance for some guys to make their case to stay on the team next year. Against a very beatable Pistons club, I’d hope that the Cavs will come out and show that they haven’t given up on this season yet.
Control the Interior
If the Pistons are going to beat you, it’s going to be because they dominate you on the interior. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are a very formidable combo, and have quietly both had exceptional years. If Varejao, Thompson, and co. can limit Drummond and Monroe and force guys like Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings to shoot jumpers then the Cavs will have a very good chance to win this game.
Help Kyrie Out
Kyrie Irving has been playing brilliant offensively lately, but he needs help. Against the Bobcats while he shot over 50% on 31 shot attempts (16 – 31) the rest of the team shot a combined 29% from the field. Those dreadful numbers doomed the Cavs in that game, and although Kyrie has been playing great, asking him to score 40+ a game is too much.