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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers

San Antonio Spurs @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
April 3rd 2012, 6pm Spurs Time

Good day, PtR! I'm not sure about you all, but I am feeling very, VERY good about the state of the Spurs lately. Our guys are rolling, clicking, pounding along. They've won 7 straight and 12 of 13, overall. Tonight our Spurs will try for their 8th consecutive win in their first of two meetings of this season against another franchise that has seen better days (don't say it...don't say it...), the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The San Antonio Spurs currently sit seven and a half games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the top spot in the Southwest Division, and second overall in the Western Conference. It's been a great run as of late, due to a few recent roster moves. The Cavs, on the other hand, have not been s lucky. As of Sunday, they're 17 - 33, dead last in the Central (but only 1 game behind Detroit - another once dominant franchise). Kryie Irving, their leading scorer, and most likely candidate for Rookie of the Year banged up his shoulder in Friday's loss to Milwaukee. He also sat out He also missed Saturday's loos to New York. The Cavs had lost 6 straight, and nine of their last ten, dropping them from playoff contention in the East for the second straight year.

It probably doesn't reflect much, but Cleveland will most likely be playing without three of it's leading scorers on the season for this game. Irving, as mentioned above, has sat out two straight, Anderson Varejao has only played 25 games this year, and has not traveled with the team recently, and Ramon Sessions was traded to the Lakers. Cleveland's roster has also been shuffled throughout the season. The Sessions trade, which sent him to the Lakers and returned Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, a 2012 first round pick and some loot, seems to have benefited LA more, on the surface - They'll be in the playoffs, and they've filled their hole at point guard. Given this years promising draft class, and Cleveland's guaranteed placement in the lottery this summer, that first round pick will do them some justice. Irving will only grow as a player, they may or may not have Jamison next year, and if they're fortunate to land another young BIG to pair with Irving... the Cavs may just avoid the lottery next year and be back on their way to the glory days of...

... Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper, Larry Nance, Craig Ehlo, "Hot Rod" Wiliams and Danny Ferry.

On the numbers side of things, Cleveland is 23rd in points per game, 10th overall in rebounding, 21st in assists, and 25th in points allowed. Going into this game, the Spurs currently rank 3rd in points allowed, 13th in rebouding, 6th in assists, and 17th in points allowed. Cleveland shoots 42.7% from the field, good for 28th in the NBA, while our Spurs hold steady at 46.6%, 4th this week. They're 12th in 3 point percentage at 35.5%, to our 39.4%... tops overall in the league! And from the charity stripe they're... shoot, they're worse than our guys at an abysmal 70.3%, two percentage points below our 72.3%, 26th in the NBA this week.


PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: DeJuan Blair

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal
Tiago Splitter
Stephen Jackson


PG: Donald Sloan
SG: Anthony Parker
SF: Alonzo Gee
PF: Tristan Thompson
C: Antawn Jamison

Key Bench Players
Luke Walton
Omri Casspi
Semih Erden

NBA Stats Cube Lineup Comparison Here. Cavs perspective can be found here: Fear The Sword and Cavs: The Blog

Game Prediction: Minutes in the 4h for our young guys. The Spurs will not start the line up above. One of our big three sits out. Spurs win.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.