On Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers came into their game at the Orlando magic fresh off a nice win at the Miami Heat when they had a huge run in the second quarter, and did not let up from there after an early deficit. The Cavaliers had a very deep rotation in that contest, their starting backcourt was dynamic, and they shared the ball well.
Unfortunately, the Wine and Gold’s fortunes were not the same in this matchup versus the Magic, where they were way off from three. Cleveland led the game at half, but they went ice cold in the third quarter, which Orlando outscored by 30-15.
The Cavs did respond well to make things interesting down the stretch, to their credit. It was just too little, too late, as the Magic had one last push, and came out with a 10-point win.
Next up for the Cavaliers will be another difficult opponent in the Boston Celtics, which will be the second leg of a back-to-back on Tuesday. Boston is one of the league’s best clubs, and in any scenario, they’re going to be a hard out, and Tuesday could be even more daunting task in that sense.
The Cavs have a tall order ahead of them versus the Celtics here, who are yet to lose at home this season.
Before getting into the analysis side of things, the injury report will again play a role here.
Cavaliers-Celtics: Injury Report
Cavs injuries: Evan Mobley (out, knee); Ty Jerome (out, ankle); Emoni Bates (out, G League - Two-Way); Ricky Rubio (out, Not With Team); Caris LeVert (questionable, knee).
Celtics injuries: JD Davison and Nathan Knight (out, G League - Two-Way); Jordan Walsh (G League - On Assignment).
Cavaliers-Celtics: TV Info
For those subscribed and in-market, Bally Sports Ohio and NBC Sports Boston will have it. Streaming options for this one will be NBA League Pass and FuboTV.
Cleveland is going up against one of the league's best clubs, on both ends of the floor. Boston is currently the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and they're second in net rating. Boston is also the only NBA club who's yet to lose at home this season, at 10-0.
With the likes of Kristaps Porzingis at the 5 now following his trade acquisition in the offseason, the Celtics are going to be even more difficult to defend for the league, and in this outing, with the wings and they have, and now Jrue Holiday, this is another tough test for Cleveland.
For the Cavaliers, they'll be without Evan Mobley again here, so aside from the Cavs needing to hit more of their open threes as opposed to Monday in Orlando, it's imperative that Jarrett Allen stays out of foul trouble. He was limited against the Magic to 15 minutes, and fouled out, and Cleveland had trouble at crucial times containing penetration. Dean Wade, who has to continually step up, must play a big role in that area, too, for what it's worth.
Here, while Cleveland can't give up tons of threes throughout the game, they'll have to be solid and limit their fouling, to a large degree, to be in better shape. Against Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and company, especially without Mobley and potentially still Caris LeVert as well, that could be a bit lofty.
Of course, the Cavs have to find ways to be more balanced, as they were against the Heat on Friday in a big win with an expanded bench, given their recent injuries. And although it does seem the Cavaliers should fare better from three than they did on Monday in an atrocious deep shooting night, a combination of the key absences, Boston's shooting and the Cs being well-rested leads one to likely believe Boston wins here. But the next matchup, the Cavs should be much better off.
Prediction: Celtics 117, Cavs 108
Cavs Upcoming Schedule:
Following this Boston matchup on Tuesday, the Cavaliers will take on the Cs once again on Thursday night to wrap up their four-game roadie, prior to the Wine and Gold going up against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
After that Atlanta contest, Cleveland will have the second game of a four-game homestand on Monday versus the Houston Rockets.