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Game Preview: Cavs Look to Win First Home Game Against Pelicans

Cavs Nation’s Matt Thomas

The Pelicans (3-2) are coming off of an impressive victory Saturday night in San Antonio. They have won the last 3 meetings against Cleveland. The Cavaliers (2-3) are coming off a win in Denver on Friday night which ended their road trip at 2-2. They are beginning a stretch of 9 of the next 11 games at home. Here are the projected starting lineups for today’s matchup:

Cleveland Cavaliers

PG – Kyrie Irving
SG – Shawn Marion
SF – LeBron James
PF – Kevin Love
C – Anderson Varejao

New Orleans Pelicans

PG – Jrue Holiday
SG – Eric Gordon
SF – Tyreke Evans
PF – Anthony Davis
C – Omer Asik

Injuries

Cleveland – Matthew Dellavedova (Left knee, out) and Dion Waiters (lower back, questionable)

New Orleans – Luke Babbit (sprained finger, out).

Anthony Davis is currently fifth in the league in scoring at 24.4 PPG and leads the NBA in rebounding (12.8) and blocked shots (4.4) per game. He has recorded double doubles in four of the Pelicans five games so far this season. Center Omer Asik is also 12th in the league in rebounding at 10.4 RPG. The Pelicans as a team lead the league in offensive rebounds per game (14.2).

{adinserter 2}Cavs guard Dion Waiters is coming off of his best game in Denver in which he scored 17 points off of the bench. The Cavs as a team had a season high 25 team assists against Denver after a franchise low of 6 assists against Utah in the previous game. Cleveland currently leads the league in free throw percentage at 82.1% and have attempted the 5th most free throws (28) per game. Lebron James in his career has averaged 25.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 23 career games versus New Orleans.

The matchup to watch is the Cavaliers bigs versus Anthony Davis. It will be interesting to see if David Blatt starts out with Kevin Love or Anderson Varejao defending Davis. Regardless it will be a huge task for whoever is defending Davis as he is widely considered the most skilled and athletic big man in the NBA. Will the Cavaliers continue to move the ball as well as they did in their win over Denver? Can the Cavaliers attack the rim with the presence of Anthony Davis and Omer Asik protecting the paint? New Orleans is only allowing 95.2 points per game this season.