Friday night could be payback night for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Early in the season, the Cavaliers lost to the Milwaukee Bucks when Brandon Jennings hit a shot at the buzzer. The shot was very exciting for Bucks fans, but it should not have counted. The replay clearly showed that the clock started late and that Jennings shot would not have beat the buzzer if the clock had started at the right time.
The Cavaliers should remember that game and should come out strong, knowing that they owe the Bucks for that loss.
The Cavaliers are also coming off of a 23-point second half against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, and that should serve as extra motivation to come out strong against the Bucks.
Milwaukee is led by Jennings and Monta Ellis, and it will be interesting to watch Kyrie Irving and the other Cavaliers guards match up against the backcourt of the Bucks.
Much like the Cavaliers, the Bucks have had several players hurt recently. In Milwaukee’s win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday for example, the Bucks were missing starting forwards Larry Sanders and Epke Udoh and reserves Mike Dunleavy and Beno Udrih.
Former Cavalier Drew Gooden (it seems like a long time since he was in Cleveland) got his first extended minutes of the season in the Sacramento game and pulled down 10 rebounds. Perhaps the most interesting part of his stat line was the fact that Gooden is still in the NBA. Who knew? He apparently has been inactive for most of the season.
If past history is any indication, though, former Cleveland athletes in any sport who go to other cities and have bad careers often have good games when they return to town as a member of the opposition. Expect Gooden to score 50 on Friday.
No, just kidding about that, but it should be fun to see Gooden back on the floor in Cleveland, if the coaching staff chooses to play him. It should also be interesting to see how Cavaliers fans treat him, if they choose to remember that he once played in Cleveland and looked for a time like he was going to be a key building block in Cleveland.
The Friday night Cavaliers-Bucks game should have plenty of good storylines, and I am predicting a good ending to the story for Cavaliers fans. Irving is set to have a big game, Anderson Varejao is going to have a huge night on the boards and the Cavaliers are primed to avenge a controversial loss from early in the season.