Cavs will look to go for season sweep of Sixers on Thursday

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton goes up for a shot on the interior. (Photo by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton goes up for a shot on the interior. (Photo by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to continue their dominance, to a large extent, against the top teams in the Eastern Conference when they face the Philadelphia 76ers at home on Thursday.

Thus far on the season, the Wine and Gold have gotten the job done in both meetings versus the Sixers, with the first being back on Dec. 27, in what was a convincing victory. Albeit in that one, Cleveland did not face Joel Embiid.

And in their last matchup before the All-Star break, while Embiid did have a monster game, the Cavaliers defeated the Sixers 112-109 on the back of their young, dynamic backcourt. Collin Sexton led the way with 26 points and Darius Garland was big-time down the stretch, and tied his then-career-high with 25 points, and had nine assists.

This time, the Sixers are coming off a loss against the Denver Nuggets, and they will be looking to get back in the win column against Cleveland. This will be the last outing of a six-game road trip for Philly, though, which could work to the Cavs’ favor.

But it’s been a struggle for the Cavaliers, who are currently on a three-game losing streak. However, picking up another surprise win against one of the league’s best would serve as a huge confidence boost for this young Cavs roster.

The Cavs will be seeking a season sweep of Philly with a W on Thursday.

To do so, the Cavaliers will be looking to contain Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris defensively. Without Embiid, who is still reportedly set to be out in this one (knee injury), Philly’s other All-Star in Simmons and star wing Tobias Harris will lead the charge for a Sixers team that currently sits at #2 in the Eastern Conference.

If the Wine and Gold want to have a realistic shot of picking up a victory, not allowing Simmons or Harris to dominate would be a primary key for a hungry Cleveland Cavaliers team looking to turn things around. That’s easier said than done, of course.

Harris, who missed the last matchup against the Cavaliers, is currently leading the team in scoring without Joel Embiid and has had some notable performances for the Sixers; pinpointing defensive effort on him and sending timely help will be pivotal for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers will also be looking to patch together enough production on the offensive end, and not just from their young, dynamic backcourt, but other key role players on the roster. Jarrett Allen (concussion) is not set to go, but Dean Wade, who has played well as of late for the Cavaliers, as KJG’s Tyler Shelt demonstrated, should be a crucial piece for Cleveland.

Rookie forward Isaac Okoro has should be key in helping slow down the Sixers’ two-star players, and point guard Matthew Dellavadova could help Cleveland in perhaps a few spurts. He could potentially be making his season debut (concussion complications/appendectomy recovery), per Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and via’s Chris Fedor.

Also on a positive note, in previous games, Sexton stepped up when the lights shined the brightest.

His previous performances against the Brooklyn Nets earlier on and at the Sixers are examples of big moments from the third-year guard, whose led Cleveland with 23.9 points per game in 2020-21. And Garland has continued to show promising signs.

In any case, a big performance from those two, and key playmaking efforts from Garland, in particular, could potentially serve as a significant boost for the others on this young Cleveland Cavaliers roster. We’ll have to see if Cleveland can ultimately get their season sweep over Philadelphia with a W on Thursday.

As the below odds from The Action Network indicate, though, the Cavs will have their work cut out for them against the Sixers.

But the Wine and Gold, again, have fared well against Philly this season.

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Perhaps that continues on Thursday, provided the backcourt gets it done in a big way. The aforementioned roadie for Philadelphia ending out in Cleveland could also help somewhat.