The Washington Wizards look to improve their 2-5 record on Friday night with the Cleveland Cavaliers in town. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
How to watch Wizards vs. Cavaliers
Watch: Live Stream Here
Date: Thursday, January 23
Time: 07 p.m. ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds and analysis Odds: Check Sportsline’s NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds, including Kenny White. He’s hit on five straight point spread picks involving the Cavs.
Analysis: The Cavaliers’ roller-coaster season is back in action. The All-Star break has come and gone and now everybody can start wondering about the legitimacy of the new-look Cavs. Cleveland traded away a huge chunk of its roster at the trade deadline in an attempt to save a season it was quickly losing its grip on.
So far, the Cavs have seen success with their new group. They’re undefeated since the trades and that includes victories over contenders like the Celtics and Thunder. Of course, they’re also in the honeymoon period together. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up their excellent play throughout the rest of the season.
The Wizards, meanwhile, are still without John Wall. Knee surgery has the star guard sidelined, and as a result Washington just isn’t the same dangerous team. The Wizards still have Bradley Beal, and he can put up points in hurry, but it’s hard to trust them when they aren’t at full strength.
Get Otto going early
Through seven games this year, small forward Otto Porter has shown flashes of what could ultimately be his breakout season. He’s been more aggressive looking for his own shot. He’s rebounding well and wreaking havoc on defense. In order for the Wizards to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, they will likely need a big night from Porter, who has so far done a great job as a complement for John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Porter is second on the Wizards averaging 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. His 61.0 field goal percentage is tops on the team. Porter didn’t score a ton against the Cavaliers last season, just 10.8 points per contest, but he did shoot .483 against them. Porter’s output will be especially important if Beal (right hamstring strain) can’t play.
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Limit LeBron to whatever extent is possible
Stopping LeBron James may simply be unrealistic for a team like the Wizards that doesn’t have an elite and versatile defender like Kawhi Leonard to deploy. But that doesn’t mean they can’t limit him, even if that will be extra-difficult without rim protector Ian Mahinmi in the mix. Mahinmi was signed this offseason to help guard the middle against players like LeBron, but they have to wait a few more weeks for his services.
In the meantime that responsiblity will fall on Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris and Jason Smith. LeBron is likely to get past Porter, or whomever guards him, on a regular basis.
Defend the three
The Cleveland Cavaliers absolutely love to shoot the three-ball. They are fifth in the NBA in three-points attempts (35.7/g), fourth in makes (13/g) and ninth in percentage (.364). Conversely, no team attempts less two-point shots than Cleveland.
The Wizards, much like most of last season, continue to have trouble defending the perimeter. They are 21st in three-pointers allowed (11.1/g) and only two teams have allowed opponents to shoot for a higher percentage from three than the Wizards (.384)