The Cavaliers’ road trip is almost over. They have two more stops before returning home and the next city up is Portland.
Cleveland is coming off a pretty demoralizing loss to the Jazz on Tuesday night. It was a game that they should’ve won but two late fouls by Caris LeVert and Cleveland’s inability to make free throws throughout the game cost them the win.
They’re currently 1-2 on the road trip but have a chance to even things up against the Trailblazers late Thursday night.
The Trailblazers have been going through a rough patch recently. They’ve only won one of their last five games and are winners in just two of their last 10. They started off the season hot but are not just 19-21 at the halfway mark of the season.
The last time these two teams met was back on November 23 which was a game that Cleveland won by almost 20 points. However, one key player was missing for the Blazers, and that was Damian Lillard.
I don’t really need to go into how good Lillard is. Even casual fans are familiar with his deep threes, notorious “wave” to the Thunder after a series-winning shot, and his reputation of loyalty and leaving everything on the court for his team.
As of right now, Lillard is QUESTIONABLE to play in the game due to a left ankle sprain. If he does play the Cavs’ defense needs to be ready to shut him down.
Lillard isn’t the only Blazer that Cleveland needs to be ready to defend. Anfrenee Simons has emerged as a legit scorer in the NBA. He’s only 23 but already has four years of experience under his belt.
Simons is averaging 22.2 points and four assists this season. Plus, if Lillard doesn’t end up playing then Simons is guaranteed to get even higher usage.
Jerami Grant is another name that the Cavs will need to keep an eye on. The forward is also averaging over 20 points this season and shooting 42 percent from three, all while playing solid defense.
(That sounds like the perfect player the Cavs are looking for right now.)
Cleveland also has some exciting news heading into this game!
Ricky Rubio is reported to finally be on his way back onto the court after he tore his ACL over a year ago. Rubio likely won’t get a ton of playing time as he’s eased back into NBA pace games, but it’ll still be great to see him back on the court.
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Another name that popped up over the last few days was Jarrett Allen who left the game against the Jazz. He was dealing with an illness that clearly made him giving him issues. Thankfully, the starting center is listed as PROBABLE for Cleveland’s matchup with Portland.
Cavs fans that want to watch the game will need a cup of coffee or an energy drink in hand if they want to make it through until the end of the fourth quarter. The game is scheduled to tip off in Portland at 10:00 PM EST.
You may also like:
What To Expect From Ricky Rubio’s Return To The Cavs
Kevin Love Makes Cavs History Against The Jazz
Jarret Allen Questionable To Return Against Jazz
Jazz Give Donovan Mitchell Warm Welcome Back To Utah
Mitchell Returns To Utah, What Cavs Fans Should Expect
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