Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards Preview and Predictions 11-08-2019
The Cleveland Cavaliers are building toward something with first-year coach John Beilein and a young roster with a few savvy veterans thrown into the frontcourt, and they are willing to take some lumps before they get things right. The Washington Wizards, who host the Cavaliers on Friday, are in a similar spot but at least have a star on the roster capable of keeping them in games in shooting guard Bradley Beal.
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Cleveland suffered its third straight loss with a 119-113 home setback against Boston on Tuesday but was encouraged with a fourth-quarter effort that saw it cut a 12-point deficit to a one-possession game before running out of gas. "The thing I want our guys to live by is just make the next right play, that's it, whatever it is and sometimes we are looking for something better and it's not going to get there," Beilein told reporters. The Wizards had a chance to put together their first winning streak of the season on Wednesday but instead followed up a 115-99 win over Detroit with a 121-106 setback at Indiana in which they shot 38.9 percent from the field. "When we don't shoot the ball well, we get down on ourselves," Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters. "We're not a team that doesn't play with effort, but we're a team that we have to play with that maximum effort no matter what. If you make a shot or miss a shot, you've got to get back and lock in and guard your man."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Ohio (Cleveland), NBCS Washington
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (2-5): Cleveland shot 41.7 percent from the floor in the loss to the Celtics and 40.6 percent in a 131-111 home loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, and getting more comfortable on the floor together is the next step for the team. "We just have little lapses and we need to learn to trust each other," veteran power forward Kevin Love told reporters. "I think that comes with playing with each other for 10, 15, 20 games and then hopefully see us take these baby steps, which will make us take those big, big leaps forward. Eventually we're going to get there." Love (18.9 points, 14.4 rebounds) and center Tristan Thompson (16.9 points, 11.6 boards) are anchoring the lineup while youngsters Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. continue to mature.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (2-5): Beal posted his third 30-plus effort in the last four games with 30 points on 12-of-29 shooting at Indiana but went 1-of-12 from 3-point range and got no help from the starting forward tandem of Rui Hachimura and Isaac Bonga, who went scoreless on a combined 0-of-7 shooting. "We're like a brand-new team and a couple guys just came back and started playing," Hachimura told the Washington Post. "So, we still don't know how we're playing. Everybody can score. Everybody can (play) defense. We got to stick together. We're not playing together right now, obviously. I can see and I can feel when I play." Hachimura averaged 18 points on 50 percent shooting over the first four games but is down to 5.3 points on 7-of-23 from the floor over the last three contests.
1. Garland is averaging 7.6 points on 29.2 percent shooting and is 5-of-29 from the floor during the three-game losing streak.
2. Wizards C Thomas Bryant collected 20 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday for his fourth double-double.
3. The home team took each meeting last season and Beal averaged 25.8 points in the four contests.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- AchillesLate Nov | out
Mahinmi suffered a strained right Achilles tendon. He is expected to be sidelined until at least the end of November.
- FingerProb Wed | probable
McRae is recovering from surgery to correct a fracture in the tip of his right ring finger. He is likely to be available against the Pacers on Wednesday.
- FootProb Mon | probable
Miles is recuperating from a stress fracture in his left foot, but he is expected to make his season debut Monday against the Pistons.
- CalfProb Wed | probable
Brown is sidelined with a left calf strain, but it is likely that he will make his season debut Wednesday against the Rockets.
- ShinLate Nov | out
Windler is expected to be out of commission until at least the latter part of November due to a left tibial stress reaction.
- FootLate Nov | out
Zizic is expected to be idle until at least the end of November with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
- SuspensionElig Fri | out
Porter Jr. has been issued a one-game suspension for improperly making contact with a game official. He is likely to be reinstated in time for Friday's contest versus the Wizards.
- PersonalProb Tues | probable
Dellavedova has missed the last two game for personal reasons. He is likely to take the court Tuesday against the Celtics.