Cavs Dribbles: Cleveland shorthanded against Sixers
Tipoff: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Records: Cavaliers 19-15; 76ers 4-28.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (Cavaliers Live pregame at 6:30 p.m.). Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM; Cavaliers Radio Network.
Cavaliers: C Tristan Thompson; PF Kevin Love; SF Mike Miller; SG Dion Waiters; PG Matthew Dellavedova.
76ers: C Nerlens Noel; PF Robert Covington; SF Hollis Thompson; SG Tony Wroten; PG Michael Carter-Williams.
Cavaliers: PG Kyrie Irving (back) out; SF LeBron James (knee/back) out; C Anderson Varejao (Achilles) out.
76ers: F Hollis Thompson (respiratory infection) probable; SF Luc Mbah a Moute (turf toe) questionable; C Joel Embiid (foot) out; G Jason Richardson (knee) out.
1. The Sixers are a miserable 4-28 overall and an even worse 0-14 at home. And it’s stats like those that make me not like the Cavs’ chances.
2. Seriously. The Sixers are going to win at home some time. Beating the high-profile Cavs (even without LeBron and Kyrie) will provide extra motivation. And the Cavs are so undermanned it almost hurts to look at ’em.
3. Dion Waiters will start in place of the injured Irving. Waiters is a Philly native and wears the No. 3 in honor of Sixers legend Allen Iverson. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Waiters shoot a lot in this game, and that’s OK. Someone’s gotta do it.
4. Reigning rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams returns after missing a game with a shoulder issue. MCW does it all — from score to rebound to pass to defend. He’ll be an issue for the Cavs’ undersized backcourt.
5. Cavs fans may also recognize Sixers backup center Henry Sims. He had a cup of coffee in Cleveland and always plays hard. With Anderson Varejao out for the year and Brendan Haywood not getting in games, Sims would be a nice fit on the Cavs right now, actually.
6. The Cavs have to find ways to win games like this — without LeBron, without Varejao, without Kyrie. Like I’ve written before, they’re not exactly in danger of anyone catching them for the No. 5 playoff seed in the East. But they also don’t want to fall into a major slump, either.
7. After the Sixers, the Cavs face the Western power Rockets at home, then head out West for a week. See why I say they need to beat teams that are 0-14 at home?
8. I don’t really have much else to add, other than I am sort of looking forward to watching what Love does in his first game as a Cavalier without two-thirds of the Big Three. He received little help in Sunday’s loss to Dallas (Kyrie missed half the game). If Love doesn’t get any tonight … well, it could be bad.