Cavaliers-Wizards pregame dribbles

The Wizards defeated the Cavs 91-78 last Friday.

Tipoff: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Records: Cavaliers 6-7; Wizards 9-4.

TV: FOX Sports Ohio (Cavaliers Live pre-game at 6:30). Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM; Cavaliers Radio Network.

Projected Starters

Wizards: C Marcin Gortat; PF Nene Hilario; SF Paul Pierce; SG Garrett Temple; PG John Wall.

Cavaliers: C Anderson Varejao; PF Kevin Love; SF LeBron James; SG Mike Miller; PG Kyrie Irving.

Injury Report

Wizards: Nene (foot) questionable; G/F Martell Webster (back) out.


Cavaliers: PG Matthew Dellavedova (knee) out.


1. A lot of stuff is being said and written about the Cavaliers these days, and very little is positive. The national media, and opposing teams, just love kicking teams when they are going through some struggles (If you think the Cavs have it bad, try reading about the Lakers).

2. A story on Bleacher Report ran the following quote from an unnamed opposing coach: "I think (Cavs coach David) Blatt is struggling a bit. The offense is not very imaginative. Spoelstra did good job of blending guys, creating ways to get guys isolated. I don’t see that right now. They’re going through the motions of an offense that isn’t clicking."

3. The opposing coach continued: "Their talent is taking over and will win some games. But going against elite teams, that’s not going to work."


4. My reaction: Maybe, maybe not. We don’t any of this stuff for sure yet. The team has played 13 games. As I tweeted the other night, the 1999 Spurs started 6-8. They then went on to win the first of the franchise’s five championships.

5. That’s not to say these Cavs will win five titles. It is to say everyone may be eating some crow at season’s end — particularly some of these opponents and national pundits who are getting in their licks now.

6. For the Cavs, laying down some revenge on the Wizards might be a nice start to people believing in them. Or more importantly to the Cavs, for them to believe in themselves.

7. Of course, it won’t be easy, as the Cavs got hammered by the Wizards last week in DC. Mostly, the Wizards are a team that’s been together and made a nice playoff run. Before adding LeBron and Love, the Cavs were a team that spent the past four years losing way too much.

8. The Wizards are also coming off a home loss last night to the Hawks. So they will be aiming to right things, and no better way to do that than against LeBron’s team. Right? Right.

9. I will be joining Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell for a segment on the "Cavaliers Live" pregame show on FOX Sports Ohio. I’ll be listing my early-season surprises and disappointments. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. EST.