Preview: Detroit At Cleveland
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
The Cleveland Cavaliers have come out of the All-Star break on a mission and earned their 40th win by crushing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. The Cavaliers will try to keep that pace in the second half of a back-to-back when they return home to host the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
Cleveland easily dispatched the Chicago Bulls in the first game after the All-Star break and had little trouble while visiting one of the best in the West on Sunday as Kevin Love collected 29 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way in a 115-92 drubbing of the Thunder. “We won,” coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. “Coming into it, with a great team and a situation like this, being undermanned and guys stepping up and playing well it’s a great feeling and a great team win.” Love could be in for another big night against the Pistons, who allowed opposing power forward Anthony Davis to go off for an NBA season-high 59 points and 20 rebounds in a 111-106 home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. “That one’s on me,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters. “You’ve got to come up with something. The guy can’t get 59. That’s on me. That’s terrible coaching. Terrible.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (27-29): Detroit has dropped five straight bridging the All-Star break to drop into ninth place in the Eastern Conference. “I think everybody is frustrated,” Van Gundy told reporters. “Nobody likes to lose. Of course everybody is frustrated. We just have to keep playing through stuff.” The Pistons are getting positive results from newcomer Tobias Harris, who was acquired from the Orlando Magic prior to the trade deadline and has totaled 37 points and nine rebounds in his first two games with his new club.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (40-14): Love’s role on the team is a frequent topic of discussion, but he believes his effort will help the team. “Being aggressive, I think overall,” Love told reporters. “I think that kind of in some way adds to the physicality of the nature in our approach. It’s just a small sample size of two games after the break, but if we can continue to do that (Monday’s) going to be another physical game and we’re going to be better off and that’s going to help us.” Forward Channing Frye, who was acquired at the deadline in part to pick up some of Love’s duties as a stretch power forward, has yet to play for his new team and was not cleared by the medical staff in time for Sunday’s contest.
1. Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving (illness) left Sunday’s game and is day-to-day.
2. Pistons F Anthony Tolliver left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and is doubtful for Monday.
3. The Central Division rivals have split two meetings this season, with Cleveland earning a 114-106 win in Detroit on Jan. 29 in the most recent matchup.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 109, Pistons 98