Game 26: Raptors at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs got waxed by one of the worst teams in the league. They've now lost their last four home games to the Raptors.
The Cavs are terrible at home, as evidenced by their 3-8 mark at The Q. Normally, even young, developing teams are decent at home. This team is horrible at home.
If one of the top teams in the league come to The Q, it gets their attention. However, if one of the poor teams come to town, it just doesn't catch their attention.
Guard Dion Waiters returned after an eight-game absence. He looks like the same player that was injured on Dec. 1. He jacked up a lot of poor outside shots.
The Cavs talked about him attacking the basket. I think he ventured in the lane once or twice and gave up on the idea.
He missed the previous eight games with a sprained left ankle and bone bruise.
The Waiters-Kyrie Irving backcourt has been together for just 11 games this season. The Cavs hope they can stay healthy the rest of the season. Of course, that's wishful thinking.
They can both penetrate and kick. They can pass the ball and shoot it. It could be quite a formidable duo for years to come.
Whereas the Cavs are healthy, the Raptors come into the game banged up. They are missing two starters in point guard Kyle Lowry (partially torn right triceps) and center Andrea Bargnani (torn right elbow ligament and strained right wrist). That's a lot of firepower and production out of the lineup.
So, what happens with them out of the lineup? The Raptors defeated Houston and Dallas.
This will be Cleveland fans' first look at Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas. He was the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft, one spot after the Cavs selected Tristan Thompson. He spent a year playing in Lithuania after the draft. The 7-footer ranks 10th in scoring (8.0) and fourth in rebounding (5.4) among rookies.
He's hit a tough stretch as of late. He had 15 points and four rebounds against Brooklyn on Dec. 12, but hasn't reached double figures in any of his last five games. Those who wanted the Cavs to select Valanciunas might back off for now.
Thompson isn't terrorizing the league, either, but he's a little further along than the Lithuanian big man.
Thompson finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Valanciunas ended with eight points and seven rebounds.
LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to New York on Saturday, 103-102.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Boston 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at TD Garden.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Mickael Pietrus (6-6, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Ed Davis (6-10, 228)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Jonas Valanciunas (7-0, 257)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. DeMar DeRozan (6-7, 217)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Jose Calderon (6-3, 208)
Cavs – G Jeremy Pargo, F Jon Leuer
Raptors - G Kyrle Lowry, C Andrea Bargnani
Michael Smith, Kevin Cutler, Josh Tiven