The Washington Wizards travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers on Thursday. As of January 23, the Wizards are 14-29, while the Cavaliers are 12-32.
Washington takes on Cleveland on the second night of a back to back. On Wednesday, the Wizards were in Miami facing the Heat. Bradley Beal had one of his best games this season. He put up 38 points in a variety of ways: pull up jumpers, attacking the basket, pulling up from long range.
Beal used everything in his offensive arsenal to give the Wizards a chance down the stretch. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as the Wizards fell to the Heat in overtime by a score of 134-129.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have not been playing great basketball as of late, losing five in a row. Cleveland’s last win was on January 11, when they defeated the Denver Nuggets, 111-103.
In Cleveland’s most recent game, they fell to the New York Knicks, 106-86.
Colin Sexton leads the Cavaliers in scoring, averaging 19.1 points per game. Although Cleveland has been struggling in the month of January, Sexton has been playing excellent basketball. In January, Sexton is averaging 22.4 points per game, while shooting 46 percent from the three point line and 91 percent from the free throw line.
Kevin Love’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors as of late, but he is still a key contributor for the Cavaliers. Love is currently averaging 17.3 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Washington may be playing better basketball than Cleveland at the moment. However, this is a game in which the Wizards can easily fall behind by double digits. Cleveland’s starting unit with Sexton and Love could make life difficult for Washington, due to their weaknesses on the defensive end.
As we saw in the Miami game on Wednesday, the Wizards have a difficult time keeping opposing players out of the paint. Miami scored 62 points in the paint, compared to Washington’s 40.
Sexton is one of the fastest players at his position. When you put him next to a big man that can stretch the floor like Love, this gives him even more room to go down hill and attack the basket. Slowing down Love and Sexton is going to be key for the Wizards.
Washington: John Wall, Garrison Mathews, Rui Hachimura, Moritz Wagner OUT; Anzejs Pasecniks DAY-TO-DAY
Cleveland: Brandon Knight, Dylan Windler, Ante Zizic OUT; John Henson PROBABLE
Points spread: Cleveland -1.5 (-110)
Money lines: Cleveland -125, Washington +105
Total points: O/U 230