Tired and Short-Handed Cavaliers Try to Bounce Back vs Chris Paul and the Clippers

Chris Paul has made a huge impact on the Clippers

Chris Paul has made a huge impact on the Clippers

Chris Paul has made a huge impact on the Clippers

***UPDATE: Daniel Gibson will play and will start tonight against the Clippers. So kindly disregard comments below about Gibson likely not playing.

***UPDATE #2: Kyrie Irving has concussion like symptoms and will not play tonight. Great. Just great.  

The Cleveland Cavaliers (9-14, 10th in the East) begin their longest home stand of the season Wednesday night as the new Los Angeles Clippers (15-7, 2nd in the West) visit The Q.

This is certainly a matchup that is not lacking for storylines. Chris Paul playing his old coach and mentor, Byron Scott. Kyrie Irving vs one of the players he seems to be compared to a lot in Chris Paul. Mo Williams making his return to Cleveland.

Beyond the storylines, though, I expect a rough night for the Cavaliers. The Clippers, though on the 3rd game of a road trip, are well rested having had the previous night off. The Cavaliers played shorthanded in Miami last night, ran up and down the court at a frantic pace for much of the game, and then had to fly back home.

Anthony Parker and Tristan Thompson are both likely to miss the game, and though Daniel Gibson is listed as questionable as of this writing, I don’t think we’ll see him play in this one. This means the Cavaliers will once again go with Kyrie Irving, Alonzo Gee, Omri Casspi, Antawn Jamison, and Anderson Varejao in the starting lineup. This means the bench rotation will again feature a bunch of players that Cavs fans wish they didn’t have to see playing together again.

The Clippers’ starting lineup features Chris Paul, Randy Foye, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. By now everyone knows that Chauncey Billups is out for the season. This leaves the Clippers’ bench with Mo Williams, Ryan Gomes, Reggie Evans, Eric Bledsoe, and Solomon Jones.

For the Clippers, Mo Williams has been on fire lately, averaging 16.7 points in 28.2 minutes per game over his last 10 games. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and Caron Butler are all doing what they do this season. DeAndre Jordan has been playing solid defense this season, as he leads all Clippers in defensive efficiency rating, is tied with Blake Griffin in defensive win shares, and leads the Clippers in blocked shots. A guy who often had the reputation for being a lazy defender, Jordan seems to really be focused on that end this year.

The Clippers are a really good team, Griffin is a matchup nightmare for Jamison, Kyrie will have his hands full with CP3, and with the Cavaliers playing the 2nd night of a back to back, this one has blowout written all over it.

But if there’s one thing the Cavaliers have taught us so far, it’s that it’s foolish to write them off. The Cavaliers will almost certainly get off to a slow start, as teams playing back-to-backs so frequently do, but Byron Scott has done a great job this year using his timeouts and getting through to his team. The Clippers are not a great defensive team and if the Cavaliers are executing their offense, they can hang in this game.

What I’m hoping for more than anything, though, is a CP3 vs Kyrie Irving showdown in the 4th quarter with the game’s outcome hanging in the balance. I felt like Irving’s performance against Steve Nash sort of put Kyrie on the map a bit, and if Irving can hold his own with CP3, he will go even further in establishing his presence in the NBA.

Finally, I just want to end with a personal note. I want to welcome Mo Williams back to Cleveland. I understand why Mo isn’t popular with many fans, but I appreciate everything he gave to this franchise. I always loved Mo’s confidence, his desire, and the heart he played with. Yes, he struggled in the playoffs, but not for a lack of focus or want to. In my mind, Mo will always be an important part of the 2 most fun Cavalier teams of my life. I’m happy the Cavs got Kyrie Irving by trading Mo, and I’m happy to see Mo finding success in Los Angeles.

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Image Credit: Evan Gole/NBAE/Getty Images

  • BrownsFanSF

    100% on board with your Mo sentiments.  No one loved Cleveland and the Cavs more than Mo and he is a class act.  I couldn’t be happier for him that he is finding success.

    Kinda funny I always thought he would be great in the role the Clips found for him: big scorer off the bench who can set the building on fire on hot nights and won’t do too much damage on cold ones (a la Jason Terry).

  • Nobody1231234

    Have to agree with you on Mo Williams, loved him being on the Cavs those couple years…only wish we had a championship from it.

  • Julie

    Don’t do this to me, I’m going to the game tonight.  I don’t want to hear about it being a blowout!

  • Anonymous

    I hope Mo gets a standing O for his time/effort he spent with the Cavs, the comments he made “post-decision” and the fact that he netted us Kyrie Irving.  Go get that ring Mo (ok, doubtful as the Clips don’t play much defense, but still).

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to see CP3 one of my favorite ballers!  See what the rook Irving can do.  Griffin is a beast should be a good game hopefully the Cavaliers represent themselves like yesterday.

  • FrankandHanford#1Fan

    Agree on Mo.  Don’t know why anyone would hate on him.  Class act all the way through his tenure with the Cavs.  Wish him the best.  

    Not looking forward to the end of the 1st quarter when Harangody and Eyenga attempt to double team Griffin and he still dunks over them.  Tough night ahead.  Last night was tougher, for me at least… we hung in there for 3 solid quarters but we had no bench to go to.  With Hollins and his moving picks, Harangody being 1-9, and Eyenga looked like a deer in headlights… what can you do?  I think we were 2-12 to start the 4th quarter?  That doesn’t cut it against anyone, much less the MIAMI CHEAT.  Let’s hope for a better performance tonight from the bench.

  • Harv 21

    Nausea rises at the thought of consecutive nights watching Hollins and Hairy Body imitate NBA big men.

    Free Tigger.

  • swig

    “Griffin is a matchup nightmare for Jamison”This made me chuckle.

    I always thought Mo was better off as a 6th man, which he is killing at the moment.  Add me to the list welcoming him back.

  • Chucky Brown

    2 of harangodys misses were at the rim- in back to back possessions

  • Campana1987

    Cavs will have their hands full, no Irving/cp3 matchup tn since Irvings out with a concussion

  • Steve

    “Griffin is a matchup nightmare for Jamison”

    So is half the league.

  • porkchopxpress

    “Griffin is a matchup nightmare for Jamison”

    So is half the league. Half the league?  Did 15 teams clone Chris Dudley and start him this year or am I missing something.  Just kidding, if I was a team that lost a big man, like say, Milwaukee, I’d be breathing down the Cavs necks to give up a 1st round pick for a rugged, quality big man like Jamison, who scores efficently and defends like a monster.  (SSSSSSSSSSShhhhhhhhhdid you see the contract they gave John Salmons?  they might buy it) 

  • Anonymous

    i think they might do that if we agreed to take Salmons back :(

  • Grif_E

    “***UPDATE #3: Whatever works, I’ll take it.”

  • Jaker

    Sessions stock is high right now, trade him to LA before they find their very own LINsanity like NY. If they trade him now, they can get a first rounder and Goudelock, who will be a quality backup combo-guard