Tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers will head to Washington to take on the Wizards. The Wizards had a devastating loss last night in double overtime. The game had the 4th most points in an NBA game in the last 25 years. Well, the Wizards may not score 153 points again since they are going against the top defensive team in the league, when it comes to points allowed per game! On the same token, the Cavaliers team has not been a high flying offense this season. They are also suffering a lot of injuries going into this game. Below is my prediction on what I think is going to happen at 8 PM ET tonight!
My prediction: The Wizards will win by about 8
This is a big stretch for the Wizards—who sit 1 game out of the 10th seeded Hawks—and have potential to win due to their strength of schedule. Here is their upcoming games and how the team has done for the Wizards:
Tonight: @ Cleveland (Lost last 3 games)
Tuesday: vs. Detroit (14-46)
Friday: vs. Atlanta (without John Collins)
March 6th: vs. Indiana (20-41)
This is an opportunity for the Wizards to get some wins on the board. But will they? As for tonight, I like their chances. The Wizards are missing some talent—by some meaning a lot—with Beal and Porzingis injured but they have been a more competitive team since around the time Beal went out for the season (Porzingis hasn’t played yet for Washington). The Wizards new trade deadline acquisitions that have actually played have also made a difference. Since the trade deadline, the Wizards have a positive .33 point differential. While it isn’t much, it’s better than their -1.47 differential before the trade deadline.
I think the Wizards will win this game because of their ability to take advantage of mismatches. With Garland and LeVert out, not only are the Cavs missing offense, their missing defense. Raul Neto is not being guarded by Darius Garland with him out. He’ll most likely be guarded by Brandon Goodwin. Goodwin isn’t a bad player but it’s not who you want guarding the 14 point per game scorer since the trade deadline. Kyle Kuzma also has a mismatch since Evan Mobley and/or Jarrett Allen will be guarding him. While his paint game will go away, his 34% 3pt shooting will get even more wide open with Mobley and Allen’s perimeter defense. The Wizards will win because of their ability to find and take advantage of mismatches due to Cleveland’s injuries and chemistry!
Superman Sleeper: Anthony Gill is my Superman Sleeper for tonight’s game. He has had 2 double digit point games since the trade deadline and has only averaged close to 19 minutes per game. Thomas Bryant was questionable for last night’s game against Sam Antonio and is not starting. I expect less minutes from him which means Gill will have to step up and play the big man spot well. He has done so in his recent games and he’ll do it again. Anthony Gill is my Superman Sleeper for tonight’s game!
The Cavaliers will win the the tip off and Jarrett Allen will score a layup in the paint on the first possession of the game off the tip off.
Wizards: Beal (IR), Porzingis (Out)
Cavaliers: LeVert (Out), Garland (Out), Sexton (IR), Rondo (Out)