The Cleveland Cavaliers continue their West Coast road trip and play the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night.
LeBron James (knee) has missed the last night nine games for the Cavaliers, however he declared himself a game-time decision for Tuesday’s contest, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
The Suns (25- 13) who are coming off a small road trip themselves defeated the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Although they lost two very close back-to-back games against the defending champions San Antonio Spurs and an overtime thriller against the Memphis Grizzles.
The Cavaliers (19-19) who have been a bit of a disappointment this year, have struggled mightily as of recent with James out the lineup. In that span, Cleveland has gone 1-7 and their defense has allowed five teams to score over 100 points .
In James’ absence, the Cavaliers front office have traded for some players to bolster their lineup not only to try and filled the void that is LeBron James but to try a contend for a championship run this year. Cleveland acquired shooting guard J.R. Smith and stretch player Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks, as well as trading for big man Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets.
On the flip side, despite it being a new year the Suns continue to light up the scoreboard night in and night out. In fact the team has scored at least 100 points in 5 of their games in 2015. For the season, Phoenix is averaging 107 points per game, which is good for 4th overall in the league.
However, the Suns are still permitting teams to score almost as much as them on the other side of the ball. In five out of their six games in 2015, Phoenix has let up at least 100 points to opposing offensives. On the season, Phoenix is allowing teams to average 105 points per game, which is close to worst in the league at 28th place.
Whether or not LeBron James suits up, the Suns still have to worry about Kevin Love who has been on a tear the last 5 games averaging 23.4 PPG and 13.8 RPG. Not to mention Kyrie Irving who has been averaging 24.4 PPG in his last seven games.
Look for Center Alex Len to be the X-factor in the game, as he will have the assignment of containing Mozgov, who is 7’1 250 lbs, down in the paint. Certainly Len has the size to matchup with Mozgov as Len himself is 7’1 255 lbs. Len played 31 minutes in Phoenix’s last game against Memphis so look for him to play around the same number of minutes on Tuesday.
If the Suns look to the get this victory against Cavaliers, Markieff Morris and Alex Len will need to have big games defensively against Kevin Love and Timofey Mozgov. You also have to worry about James if he decides to play or not and having the nightmare of guarding him.
The Suns and Cavaliers tip-off at U.S. Airways at 6 p.m. MST and will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Arizona.
Suns 101, Cavaliers 94