- Teams: Detroit Pistons (13-16) at Cleveland Cavaliers (10-16)
- Date: December 23, 2013
- Time: 7:00 p.m.
- Television: FSD
What to look for
The defeat was the second in a row for Detroit. Tonight’s opponent offers a bit of reprieve because of their roster construction. Indeed, Mo Cheeks’ unit struggled with containing post players in their last two contests and it resulted in double-digit losses.
Al Jefferson of the Charlotte Bobcats tortured the Pistons frontline and the Rockets’ Howard was even more impressive. Detroit will get away from interior forces when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers this evening.
The Cavs have interesting pieces on the inside, but they are erratic. Andrew Bynum was once upon a time viewed as superior to Howard in the mind of some, but injuries have considerably dropped his stock.
The former Los Angeles Lakers center has games where he is impressive down on the block because he combines his size and strength with terrific touch. Bynum has a good hook shot he loves to unveil with his back to the basket if he is unable to get himself all the way to the hoop.
His low-post game occasionally comes with flashes of brilliance. He might uncork a drop step or a simple Madden truck move where he goes right through his defender for a dunk. Watch below:
With that said, Bynum no longer generates fear like he once did. He is impatient with his back to the basket and consequently, he will rush shots instead of kicking the ball back out to his teammates when a solid field-goal attempt is unavailablle.
Also, he has knack for seemingly falling apart whenever additional defenders come his way. The big man will cough up the ball or simply put up a low-percentage shot. As a result, Cleveland cannot consistently go him to on the interior.
Instead, Mike Brown places the ball in the hands of Kyrie Irving and allows him to dictate the offense. Uncle Drew is incredibly crafty with the ball, which allows him to beat just about any defender off the bounce.
Irving and Tristan Thompson have developed a good pick-and-roll chemistry, thus expect the Cavs to milk the two-man game tonight as much as they can.
Cleveland has intriguing pieces and should contend for a playoff spot, however their roster is simply too flawed. The core of Irving, Bynum and Anderson Varejao is injury prone. That’s a huge problem given that the second unit is quite unremarkable.
Furthermore, the Cavs have had some dissension in the ranks, which is rarely a sign of great times. There is talent there, although it does not fit appropriately. Just remember, there are nights where their collective skills will mesh and help them look like an actual postseason squad.
The Cavs have won six of their last 10 games and also, if we look at their schedule so far this season, they have registered some interesting wins at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers have fallen in Cleveland. The Pistons will have a tough task ahead of them tonight, but ultimately their interior play should win them the game provided that Brandon Jennings does not feel the need to submit his And 1 Mixtape to Irving and the Cavs faithful.