When: Friday, November 17, 2017 at 4:30 PM PT
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
How to Watch: Prime Ticket, AM 570
Projected Starting Lineups:
Clippers: Austin Rivers, Sindarius Thornwell, Wes Johnson, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
Cavaliers: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Jae Crowder, Kevin Love
Clippers: Milos Teodosic (plantar fascia, Out), Danilo Gallinari (strained left glute, Out), Patrick Beverley (sore right knee, Doubtful)
Cavaliers: Isaiah Thomas (hip, Out), Derrick Rose (ankle, Doubtful), Tristan Thompson (left calf strain, Out)
The Cavaliers started off the season horribly, but have now won three games in a row, mostly behind the brilliance of LeBron James. The King is still unbowed and unbroken in 2017, and remains the best player in the NBA. The rest of his cast is shakier than in years past, however especially with Isaiah Thomas out. Jae Crowder has been a disappointment thus far in Cleveland, and Kevin Love hasn’t been as impactful as he was last season. Old friend Jeff Green has played surprisingly well so far, but we know how shaky that support is. It’s also no shock that the Cavs have compiled their streak without erstwhile starting point guard Derrick Rose, who has been a negative NBA player for several years now.
The Clippers, meanwhile, are the losers of six straight games. They’ve competed in all the contests, and probably should have won at least one or two, but have collapsed down the stretch. While fans have complained about the lack of movement on offense, the real issue has been that the Clippers can’t stop anyone on the other end. They are the 21st ranked defense in the NBA, and they simply aren’t going to make the playoffs if they continue playing that poorly.
Check out Lucas’ podcast with Chris Manning, the editor-in-chief of the SB Nation’s Cavs blog, Fear the Sword, which can be found here. They do an in-depth preview of the game, as well as a discussion of each team’s season so far.
Game thread will be up prior to the game as usual. Go Clippers!