Damian Lillard and the Blazers look to face off against Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers in a battle that pits last year’s ROY against this year’s presumptive favorite. The Blazers have dropped three in a row and suffered a tough loss at Denver in overtime last night; Cleveland is coming off their own three game losing streak and is coming in refreshed after three days off. All of this points to Dion Waiters, #3, or Sasha Pavlovic, also #3, having a huge game if my numerology training has taught me anything.
The Blazers’ effort will break one of two ways: either they’ll play like they’re on the second night of a back-to-back and just went to overtime in the Mile High City, or they’ll grit their teeth and find the high gears tonight anyway. Either way, I doubt this game will be a thing of beauty sung about for years to come. The Blazers’ starters will need help from the bench tonight; the Cavs bench won’t be a big threat—they rank 28th to Portland’s 30th in scoring—but could end up putting them over the top against a weary Blazers team.
The sequel to John Woo’s 1997 thriller Face/Off takes place tonight “Face/Off 2: Faced!” starring Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving. Hopefully, we all get the dazzling display of two young point guards we paid for.
J.J. Hickson may have something to prove against his former team, and with Anderson Varejao out, Hickson could eat them up on put backs. Or he could get punked by Tyler Zeller.
LaMarcus will try to bang up slightly smaller Tristan Thompson to get a casual 20 and 10.
Cleveland: Kyrie Irving (PG), C.J. Miles (SG), Alonzo McGee (SF), Tristan Thompson (PF), Tyler Zeller (C)
Portland: Damian Lillard (PG), Wesley Matthews (SG), Nicolas Batum (SF), LaMarcus Aldridge (PF), J.J. Hickson (C)
Kyrie Irving/Damian Lillard win Face/Off 2 roles
Dan Gilbert writes J.J. Hickson a mean letter about loyalty, Hickson is baffled
Cavs take advantage of tired Blazers, rightfully earn title of 28th best bench