The Cleveland Cavaliers will finish the second night of back-to-back games Sunday by taking on the Philadelphia 76ers, and this game could provide the opportunity for a big victory for the Wine and Gold.
The Cavs played six straight road games before traveling home to take on the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night, and the team has struggled so far this season away from home. Cleveland comes into the game just 1-5 in road games, and 2-7 overall.
The Cavs played well at times Saturday night against Dallas and had a chance to win, but dropped the game 103 to 95. Cleveland has now lost five in a row, and needs to pick up a win soon.
This will be the first of two straight games the Cavs will play against the 76ers, as the NBA Eastern Conference foe will visit Cleveland on Wednesday for a rematch.
The 76ers have been led in scoring so far this season by guard Jrue Holiday, who is scoring 19.1 points per game while shooting an impressive 45 percent from the field. He is also shooting 45 percent from three-point range, and dishing out 8.6 assists per game.
The Cavs defense will have to key on the 6-4 guard, who was a first round draft pick out of UCLA in 2009.
Forward Thaddeus Young is chipping in 12.8 points per game for the 76ers while shooting 50 percent from the field. He also is pulling down 7.4 rebounds per game.
Another top scorer is veteran guard Jason Richardson, who is scoring 11.8 points a game.
The 76ers are a deep team, but they are missing the one player many thought would be key to their success this year, as center Andrew Bynum is still out with an injury.
Bynum, who stands 7 feet tall (plus a few extra inches with the new haircut) is being counted on to be a force inside on offense and defense.
Bynum’s absence should ease things inside a little for the Cavs, who will be looking for big games from forward/center Anderson Varejao and forward Tristan Thompson.
Varejao and Thompson have been very active inside so far this season, and Varejao is playing better than any other big man in the Eastern Conference.
If the Cavs are tired from playing two games in two nights, it will be key for Varejao and Thompson to rebound on offense to get the Cavs extra shots, as well as rebound effectively on defense in order to limit Philadelphia’s scoring opportunities.
The play of guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters is always key, but the Wine and Gold will also need a big contribution off of the bench from guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson. Gibson’s shooting at times has provided just about all of the scoring for the Cavs second unit, and he also stretches the floor when he is playing with the starters.
This is a road game the Cavs can win. The team needs to start out with lots of energy and must defend well, and if they do that they could pick up a good road victory. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. in Philadelphia.