Tough stretch #1: Jan. 7-29
January 11th vs Brooklyn Nets (in Paris)
January 15th vs Chicago Bulls
January 17th vs Milwaukee Bucks
January 20th @ Atlanta Hawks
January 22nd @ Orlando Magic
January 24th @ Milwaukee Bucks
January 26th @ Milwaukee Bucks
January 29th vs LA Clippers
During the month of January, the Cavs play 13 games. After hitting the road against the Toronto Raptors to start the new year, they then have three home games in a row against the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors and Spurs are teetering in Play-In territory and the Wizards are projected to be near the bottom of the East this season, so the Cavs should win those games. Then, the schedule turns tough.
The Cavs head to Paris on the 11th to face the Brooklyn Nets, and while they won the season series last year, their two wins against the Nets were by a combined eight points. The Nets have a tough roster led by Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Nic Claxton that is elite defensively. After that, they face the Chicago Bulls at home. The Cavs did sweep the Bulls last season, but outside of the first game, the other three games were decided by one, 11, and eight points respectively.
The Cavs also have matchups with the Atlanta Hawks, and Orlando Magic. The Hawks and Cavs have had their fair share of matchups over the past couple seasons, and Trae Young has become a Cavs killer. As for the Magic, the Cavs did sweep them last season and won three of those games by double digits. However, the Magic will be better this season led by Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, so they shouldn’t be underestimated.
Now, the toughest part of the month for the Cavs is the team they will face THREE times: the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks were the number one seed in the East last season, and even though they flamed out in the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat, they did not have Giannis Antetokounmpo for half of the series.
The Cavs and Bucks split their series last season, but the Cavs lost by a combined 30 points in the games in Milwaukee. They will have to go there twice in January, and since 2018, the Cavs are 1-8 at Fiserv Forum. I mean that is just…yikes.
Lastly, the Cavs finish up this stretch with a matchup against the Clippers, who pose a challenge with their superstar duo led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.