After an up-and-down start to 2023, the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to have found their footing in February. The Cavs, who are currently the 4th seed in the East and are ranked #1 in defensive efficiency this season, come into tonight’s game riding a 6-game winning streak, 2nd only to the 10-game streak the Milwaukee Bucks are on. The addition of All Star guard Donovan Mitchell in the off-season has given Cleveland a lethal and versatile option to add to the young core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. Cleveland narrowly missed out on the 6th seed last season, finishing with the 8th seed, a play-in tournament berth, and two straight losses in that round to end their season. With Mitchell in the fold, they appear set to take the next step.
The San Antonio Spurs are going the other way as far as streaks go. They’re currently on a 12-game losing streak, their longest of the season. Rookie Jeremy Sochan is back in the line-up after a 10-day absence, but the Spurs will be hard-pressed to end this losing streak against a Cavaliers team that’s playing this well. These two teams met back in December, a game the Spurs won 112-111.
San Antonio Spurs (14-43) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (37-22)
February 13, 2023 | 6:00 PM CT
Watch: BSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: Devin Vassell (knee - OUT), Romeo Langford (thigh - OUT), Doug McDermott (day to day), Khem Birch (knee - OUT), Charles Bassey (foot - OUT)
Cavaliers Injuries: None
What to watch for
- At the end of January, Donovan Mitchell was announced as an NBA All Star starter for the first time in his career. Mitchell, a 3x All Star already with the Utah Jazz, has had a phenomenal first season in Cleveland, with averages of 27 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists a night. He scored a career-high and NBA season-high 71 points back on January 2nd against the Chicago Bulls and had 28 points when the Spurs beat Cleveland at the AT&T Center back in December.
- Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones made their return to the court Saturday in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Sochan picked up where he left off before getting injured against the Sacramento Kings earlier this month, posting a line 18/9/5 in just 21 minutes of action. How he contends with the Cavaliers duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley inside should be interesting.
- According to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal, Jarrett Allen’s current run of 4-straight 20 point games is the longest such streak of his career. Allen, who made the All Star team last season as a reserve, missed the end of that year with a thumb issue, including both of Cleveland’s losses in the play-in tournament. The Cavaliers run a starting line-up that features both Allen and 2nd year big Evan Mobley in the front court, giving Cleveland their version of a Twin Towers-esque tandem.
- It was announced yesterday that following a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies and a buy-out from the Houston Rockets, former Spur Danny Green was signing a one-year deal with the Cavaliers. Green has only appeared in 3 games this season, as he’s spent much of the year rehabbing a torn ACL/LCL he suffered in last year’s playoffs.
For the Cavalier fan’s perspective, please visit Fear the Sword.
If you’d like to, you may follow along with the game on our Twitter profile (@poundingtherock) or visit our Game Thread!