Preview: LeBron, rest should assist Cavs


LeBron James is set to return and the Cavaliers hope their winning ways do, too.

Cavaliers (13-7) vs. Trail Blazers (9-13)

SITE: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

TIPOFF: 7 p.m. EST

TV: FOX Sports Ohio.

RADIO: Cavaliers Radio Network, WTAM 1100-AM (Flagship)


Cavaliers: C Timofey Mozgov; PF Kevin Love; SF LeBron James; SG J.R. Smith; PG Matthew Dellavedova.

Blazers: C Mason Plumlee; PF Noah Vonleh; SF Al-Farouq Aminu; SG C.J. McCollum; PG Damian Lillard.


Cavaliers: PG Kyrie Irving (knee) out; SG Iman Shumpert (wrist) out.

Blazers: None to report.


LeBron James is expected to play following a game off to rest, and that’s obviously always a good thing. … So is playing a struggling team like the Blazers at home when the Blazers played (and lost at Milwaukee) the night before. … Meanwhile, the Cavs were off Sunday and Monday. … Read: The odds seem to favor the Cavs snapping their three-game skid. … In spite of the losing streak, the Cavs remain in first place in the Eastern Conference. Both the Heat and Bulls lost at home Monday. … But you have to play the game, and you have to give real effort from the start. The Cavs figured that out last Tuesday vs. the Wizards. … Washington had been struggling, so it seemed like an easy win at The Q. Then Wizards guard John Wall went bananas, and the Cavs fell to 9-1 at home. … So what’s been the issue for the Cavs lately? Matthew Dellavedova has a theory. “We’re not defending like we were,” he said. “We can’t let our offense dictate our defense.” … Kevin Love will look to bounce back from a five-point performance (on 2-of-8 shooting) in Saturday’s loss at Miami. … After going 6-of-11 on 3-pointers in a win over the Nets, Love has failed to make a three during the skid (0-of-12). … Mo Williams had an MRI on his sore left knee, but has been cleared to play. … Blazers guard C.J. McCollum (Canton GlenOak High) is off to a career start and averaging 19.4 points. McCollum and Damian Lillard will be a handful for the Cavs guards. … The Cavs will wear their black-sleeved jerseys. … Be sure to catch the new edition of Cavaliers in the Paint, co-hosted by Jeff Phelps and Yours Truly, before the game on FOX Sports Ohio (6 p.m. EST).