The Cleveland Cavaliers start their two-week road trip on Saturday, November 3, 2012 facing off against the Milwaukee Bucks starting at 8:30 p.m. Cleveland enters the contest with a 1-1 record after falling to the Chicago Bulls by the score of 115-86. Milwaukee is 1-0 on the season.
Cleveland got a reality check on Friday night after showing so much promise in their season opener against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. Cleveland simply has a long way to go before they can be legitimately considered as a playoff caliber team.
While the Bucks are not typically considered a powerhouse squad, they opened their season on Friday with an impressive 99-88 victory on the road over the Boston Celtics.
Cleveland knows all too well how tough the Bucks are. Milwaukee leads the all-time series 110-77, including a 63-30 record when playing at home. Cleveland has not won a game in Milwaukee since December 6, 2009. There is an ounce of hope that will change tonight.
Cleveland is expected to start their standard five of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters at the guards, Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson at the forwards, and Anderson Varejao at center.
Milwaukee should counter with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis at the guards, Tobias Harris and Ersan Ilyasova at the forwards, and Samuel Dalembert at center.
In order to have a fighting chance at winning, the Cavaliers will need to play solid defense and not allow the Bucks to penetrate the lane and score easy baskets. It will also be up to Irving and Waiters to keep the tempo of the game up in an effort to wear down their opposition. The pair will have their hands full matching up against Jennings and Ellis.
Cleveland will also need its bench to perform at a much higher level than it has for the first two games of the season. C.J. Miles certainly has not impressed as much as he did during preseason despite the fact he is seeing an average of 18 minutes of floor time per game. More needs to be seen from starter Alonzo Gee as well.
More Cleveland Cavaliers Commentary from Paul Rados:
Cleveland Cavaliers dismantled by Chicago Bulls 115-86: Fan’s take
Cleveland Cavaliers prepare for battle against the Chicago Bulls: Fan Preview
Dion Waiters shines in NBA debut, Cavaliers beat Wizards 94-84: Fan’s take
Cleveland Cavaliers to open regular season against Washington Wizards: Fan’s take
Fan’s take: Will Cavaliers’ fans give Dion Waiters a chance to develop?
All data provided by NBA.com
Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Cavaliers fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.