Matchup: Washington Wizards (6-8) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (13-4)
When: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. (TV: CSN, CSNMidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra)
When last we met: First game this season. Washington lost last season's series 1-3 after winning the opener 91-78 at Verizon Center.
Streaks: The Wizards are clearly in the midst of some early season struggles, having lost four straight and seven of 10. Saturday's setback, 84-82 at home against the Toronto Raptors on Cory Joseph's 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining, was the biggest emotional dagger of the bunch. ...While not playing at a championship level, the Cavaliers are simply racking up the wins. LeBron James scored 26 points in Saturday's 90-88 thriller over Brooklyn for Cleveland's second straight victory and fifth in six games.
Three things to to watch
1. Blooming Love -- There are a few things teams look for if deploying a "stretch" power forward. At a base level, effective 3-point shooting, rebounding and quick feet defensively. Nobody will think of Kevin Love as graceful, but the Cavaliers big man brings those other components and does so better than most. The 6-foot-10 forward is shooting 40.7 percent from beyond the 3-point arc this season. What makes that percentage even more impressive is that he's not been shy about firing away. Of the top 40 league leaders in terms of percentage, only Stephen Curry, Kyle Lowry and Paul George have attempted more 3-pointers than Love's 118. Meanwhile he's grabbing 11.8 rebounds per game while averaging 19.8 points. All of those numbers are up significantly compared to stats from last season, his first in Cleveland. Stretch-4's have been a handful for the Wizards this season, which partially explains why Washington switched up its lineup against Toronto with Jared Dudley starting over Kris Humphries.
2. Help from Hollins -- The Wizards added 7-footer Ryan Hollins to the roster Monday while waiving swingman Martell Webster. That's a clear sign that Nene (calf) won't be available in the near future, but also that Washington desired more rim protection. Opponents are shooting 60.2 percent from the field inside of five feet against the Wizards, the third highest mark in the league. Though he rarely played heavy minutes during his NBA career, the lengthy Hollins averages 1.6 blocks and 6.6 rebounds per game based on 36 minutes per contest. The former 2006 second-round pick by Charlotte played 94 games over two seasons in Cleveland starting in 2010. (He was traded from the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers along with current Wizards teammate Ramon Sessions.) Hollins averaged a career-high 17 minutes per game with the Cavaliers during the 2010-11 season. Hollins, 31, has attempted only one career 3-pointer -- he missed it -- so this is certainly not another attempt at generating more perimeter shooting help from the frontcourt.
3. Home Sweet Home -- For the most part, teams play better on their own turf, or rather, hardwood. It's impossible to play at home than the Cavaliers so far. Through nine games, Cleveland is 9-0 at Quicken Loans Arena. Last season, the first with James back in Ohio after his infamous exit to South Beach, Washington lost both games in Cleveland. Overall, the Wizards have lost 12 of 16 on the road in this series.