Cleveland Cavaliers at San Antonio Spurs Game Preview
As the Cavs head to San Antonio for an earlier Texas start time on Monday, they bring with them a losing skid. Five in a row have been dropped by the Cavs now, the Spurs sitting just one game over .500 on the other side. It has been an up-and-down year, but they should be able to win enough to remain in the play-in as a consolation.
Cleveland is trying to snap a five-game skid by picking up a win here. They have learned the hard way that life without your starting center is not fun. And it is nothing like when they sat Andre Drummond out. Jarrett Allen is an elite rim protector that has a lot of tools on the other end to make an impact. Not having him in the lineup has thrown everything out of whack.
San Antonio is 24-23 on the season and hopes to get a win here. Several guys are coming in and out of the lineup, but they have found a steady presence in Jakob Poeltl at the center. They are looking smarter and smarter every day for paying him last summer. He was a free agent, so they had to, but they would owe him a lot more money for an extension this summer. A great, underrated signing from RC Buford.
ODDS: The Spurs are favored, the spread SAS -9.
Cavs Seeking Road Win
It has been a very weird year for the Cavs. But things have started to normalize just a little, as Kevin Love is healthy and playing real minutes for the first time this year. Injuries have killed him, limiting him to just seven total games out of the 49 played. But if he can stay healthy, Love can make a positive impact from here on out, whether as a power forward or center.
Matthew Dellavedova suffered a serious concussion in the preseason and then had an emergency appendectomy. But he is finally healthy and playing good minutes off the bench. He’s a tremendous passer and high-energy player, helping the team in all sorts of ways when he’s in. It’s very clear they missed him, and if they want to beat SA, he’ll play a large role.
Look for Collin Sexton to have a big game.
Spurs Seeking Home Victory
It has been something of a successful year for the Spurs. Dejounte Murray has continued to show improvement on the offensive end. Keldon Johnson has improved greatly off his performance in the bubble. And Lonnie Walker and Derrick White have been able to score pretty much at will at the times they’ve been healthy.
As expected, DeMar DeRozan has played very well, and he’s been a leader for this team. His name was floated around at the deadline, but he’s still around. There were rumors during the stoppage last season that he was very unhappy in SA. While he probably misses playing with Kyle Lowry, that seems to be far from the truth.
San Antonio is a good defensive team with veterans like Rudy Gay and Patty Mills guiding the second unit. Even if DeMar is eventually traded, the Spurs' future looks to be bright.
Look for Murray, DeRozan, and Poeltl to have big games.
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