Preview: Bucks at Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to look like a title contender one game and an also-ran the next and are coming off one of their impressive performances. The Cavaliers will try to make it two in a row and show some consistency when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Cleveland lost by 21 points in Miami on Saturday but bounced back with a 124-91 drubbing of the Denver Nuggets at home on Monday, hours after LeBron James caused another social media mini-controversy by unfollowing the Cavaliers’ Twitter and Instagram accounts. James wouldn’t answer questions about his social media activities and did all his talking on the court with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the win over the Nuggets. The triple-double helped Cleveland clinch the Central Division and kept the team 1 1/2 games ahead of the Toronto Raptors in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks have dropped three of their last four games and opened their three-game road trip with a tough 92-91 loss at Detroit on Monday.TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE BUCKS (30-41): Milwaukee had a chance to impact the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race on Monday but allowed Detroit center Andre Drummond to slip through for the go-ahead tip-in with two seconds left. “The ball bounced to their best rebounder and he made a heck of a play and a heck of a tip-in,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd told reporters. “They took a tough shot and we did everything right leading up to that, we just couldn’t get the stop.” Milwaukee can still throw a wrench into the race in the East with games against the Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets in the next week.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (50-20): James’ 11 assists were part of a team total of 38 – double the team’s total in Saturday’s loss – and Kyrie Irving noticed how much more open the offense seemed. “Guys were spacing the floor,” Irving told reporters. “Channing (Frye) stepped in for Kevin (Love) tonight and did an incredible job of just rolling and spacing out the floor for us and doing a great job of running into screen and rolls, so when you have that type of effort going in it gives us a great chance to win.” Frye scored 14 points while stepping into the starting lineup for Love, who is day-to-day with an illness.
1. Cavaliers G Mo Williams (knee) returned to practice and could play later this week after missing the last month.
2. Milwaukee F Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 18.8 points on 60.9 percent shooting, 9.2 assists and 8.8 rebounds in the last five games.
3. Cleveland has taken three of the last four in the series, including a 115-100 home win in the latest meeting on Nov. 19.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 112, Bucks 103