The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up a much-needed win on Wednesday, and now are heading west to see if they can build on their success.
The Cavaliers will play their next five games on the road, and they have a decent chance to pick up two or three wins. Picking up a few wins would be a great step forward for the Cavaliers, who are currently just 9-28 on the season.
The Cavaliers take on the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The Nuggets have plenty of talent, but the Cavaliers should be able to match up with them well as both teams rely on inside players who bring a lot of energy and outside players who can shoot and drive to the rim. If the Cavaliers can keep the Nuggets post players off of the boards and if they can get out and run, they have decent chance to win.
On Sunday, the Cavaliers will take on the Los Angeles Lakers, whom they have already beaten this year. The Lakers have had nearly all of their big guys out with injuries and are reeling, and this could be another opportunity for the Cavaliers to steal a win. Also, you can be sure that Kyrie Irving is going to try to have a big game playing against Kobe Bryant and Lakers. If he is on, the Cavaliers should get the win. If he isn’t, it could end up being a long night for the Wine and Gold. With the depleted front line for the Lakers, this could also be a career scoring night for rookie Tyler Zeller.
On Monday, the Cavaliers will take on the Sacramento Kings, who won in Cleveland already this season. The Kings have plenty of problems of their own, and now have the distraction of possibly moving to Seattle. This could also be another huge night for Irving, as he should be able to score on the Kings. It will be interesting to see how Tristan Thompson and Zeller do inside for the Cavaliers against DeMarcus Cousins and the other bigs for the Kings.
Then next Wednesday, the Cavaliers will take on the Portland Trail Blazers, who stole a win in Cleveland earlier in the season. The Cavaliers should come out motivated knowing that they had the Trail Blazers beaten and should have gotten the win. I believe that this game may be one of the toughest on the road trip, but the Cavaliers have a chance to get the victory. Veteran guards Shaun Livingston and Daniel “Boobie” Gibson will likely have to play key roles in guiding the young Cavaliers in this tough road environment.
The Cavaliers end the road trip by taking on the Utah Jazz, and playing in Salt Lake City is never easy. The Jazz are beatable, though, and this may be another big night for Irving and rookie guard Dion Waiters. This game will also be a homecoming of sorts for guard C.J. Miles, who came to Cleveland as a free agent from Utah during the off-season. Miles will likely be hyped up and hoping to score a lot against the Jazz. This could mean he ends up shooting 1 for 11 with 7 turnovers as he tries to do too much, but hopefully for the Cavaliers it will mean he has a lot of energy and gets into a comfort zone so that he can have a solid game against his former team.
So right now, I am predicting at least two, maybe three wins for the Cavaliers on the road trip. The Cavaliers have a lot to prove and some opportunities for some success. It’s time to find a few victories.