After a promising stretch where they won six of eight games, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a dud on Thursday night. Cleveland took a 103-95 L to the Portland Trail Blazers, who are a squad in the beginning stages of a rebuild post-Damian Lillard trade.
It was a loss where the Wine and Gold didn't have it, so-to-speak, and at home and with them getting healthier, there was really no excuse for it. Now, though, the Cavaliers have to get back on track, and going into December, they have to establish some consistency game-to-game, week-to-week.
With that in mind, the Cavs have to take case of business on Saturday night at the Detroit Pistons, who are currently the NBA's worst team. Detroit has lost 16 straight games, and they went winless in November.
The Cavaliers have to flush Thursday's stinker, and handle the Pistons, in hopes of generating some momentum getting into December.
Before getting into the game analysis/prediction, first let's touch on the injury front and TV info.
Cavaliers-Pistons: Injury Report
Cavs injuries: Caris LeVert (out, knee); Ty Jerome (out, ankle); Ricky Rubio (out, Not With Team); Dean Wade (out, ankle); Emoni Bates and Isaiah Mobley (out, G League - Two-Way).
Pistons injuries: Joe Harris (out, shoulder); Monte Morris (out, quad); Malcolm Cazalon and Jared Rhoden (out, G League - Two-Way); Bojan Bogdanovic (probable, calf); Ausar Thompson (probable, face).
Cavaliers-Pistons: TV Info
For those subscribed and in-market, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Detroit and Bally Sports Indiana will have this contest. A streaming option here will be NBA League Pass.
Going into this matchup, the Cavaliers should be in line for a W here. After what was what Donovan Mitchell described as the "worst loss" of the season to the Blazers, the Cavaliers have to respond and take care of business in Detroit on Saturday.
The Pistons do have some promising young talent, and on Saturday, Detroit will have Jalen Duren in this one, who was not involved in the first matchup between these two clubs. The dynamic between him and Isaiah Stewart and the Cavaliers bigs will be something to watch in this one, on both ends, and on the glass. Keep an eye on Ausar Thompson, who has been outstanding defensively and on the glass as well, provided he plays.
Regarding the perimeter players, while he's not a star player, the Pistons will likely have an impact player back, at least somewhat back, in Bojan Bogdanovic, who is yet to play this season due to a calf strain. Bogdanovic is going to take time to get his legs back under him, and if he can, he'll be a piece that will remain in trade rumors, given Detroit's rebuild, but in the short term, if he's out there, his shooting is something teams will always have to account for.
All things considered, however, though the Cavs have to come out with urgency, and Darius Garland has to be aggressive with his mindset throughout upcoming games, and not pass up shots, in this one, Cleveland should rebound.
Injuries and odd lineups have had some to do with the Pistons' disgusting losing streak, but regardless of the circumstances, the Cavs should pull away at some point here.
The Wine and Gold should definitely be winners in this one, and after that last awful result, they should come out with vengeance on their minds.
Prediction: Cavs 117, Pistons 106
Cavs Upcoming Schedule:
Follow this second matchup with Detroit, Cleveland will face the red hot Orlando Magic on Wednesday at home and then the Miami Heat on the road on Friday. Those updates came following the league's altered schedule with the knockout stages of the NBA In-Season Tournament set to play out.
After those Magic and then Heat games, the Cavaliers will take on the Magic again, that time on the road on Dec. 11.