For the third and final time in 2020-21, the Cavs and Hornets will get together. Cleveland has won each of the first two meetings. One of them was opening night, despite Terry Rozier scoring 42 points in 10 threes. And the other was last Wednesday, when they were able to hold their opponents to just 90 points.
There is good news, and also bad news for the Cavs. They lost Taurean Prince for the rest of the year, as he announced on Thursday that he is opting to undergo surgery on his ankle a few weeks early. On the bright side, he did help them pick up a win over the Bulls, who had knocked them off just four days earlier. It was a complete game effort for the Cavs to get that win, doing so by a score of 121-105.
Charlotte is dealing with a number of injuries, with LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward still out of the lineup. Malik Monk is likely to miss his 13th game in a row tonight as well. The playmaking and scoring comes heavy from those three guys, so all of them being out has killed the Hornets. PJ Washington is trying to ease his way back, but logged just 13 minutes on Thursday. Vernon Carey Jr. is still starting at center, even though Biyombo and Zeller are healthy.
- SPREAD: The spread for the game is set at Charlotte -1
- OVER/UNDER: 209.5 is the over/under for the ballgame.
- MONEYLINE: The Cavs moneyline is +100, while Charlotte’s is -113.
Cleveland Seeking Season Sweep of Charlotte
The Cavs are 69-45 all-time against the Hornets in the regular season, winning always being a part of things for the visitors. Being 2-0 this year has been great to see. They took Charlotte’s best shot in the fourth quarter on opening night, but did hold on to begin the year 1-0, and eventually 3-0 after being the Pistons and 76ers to follow. And the last game they won, was never in doubt.
Collin Sexton and Darius Garland have continued to play great ball, each guy looking better and better as the year goes on. Folks still have questions as to if they can co-exist, but they continue to show how dynamic the offense can look when they share the floor together. And when Kevin Love is in the lineup, they have another guy who can not only sink the three, but pass the ball was well as each of the team’s starting guards.
The keys to victory for the Cavs lie in winning the offensive rebounding battle, keeping Rozier under 30 points and getting at least 40 points and 10 assists from Sexton and Garland combined.
Hornets Seeking Home Victory
The chances remain high that the Hornets make the playoffs. But, with the play of Atlanta and New York of late, it will either be the number six seed or a play-in spot. They should be at full strength come May 18 when the play-in begins, and then a tough out for other teams. They’re losing a lot of time to build chemistry now, though.
Gordon Hayward was hooping at an All-Star level to open the year, while Ball was out there making highlights every night. Throw in some Miles Bridges mega-dunks, and you have one of the most exciting groups in the league. Rozier is more than just a scoring machine, but somebody who puts Kevin Durant on posters.
This is still a dangerous team, with Devonte Graham, a healthy PJ Washington, Bridges and Jalen McDaniels also out there. They are learning to play together and there is something lacking, but they are only two games under .500.
The keys to victory for Charlotte lie in their three-point shooting, perimeter defense, and rebounding.
- Spread: CLE +1. They’ll win it on the road.
- Over/Under: Over 209.5. There will simply be more offense this time.
- Moneyline: Cavs +100. They’re winning.