John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: ESPN (coverage begins at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington)
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Keef is back
The Wizards will get a nice boost on Friday night with the return of power forward Markieff Morris to their starting lineup. Morris missed their first seven games following the sports hernia surgery he had on Sept. 22. He was also suspended for Wednesday's game due to the Wizards' fight with the Warriors.. The Wizards held a winning record at 4-3 without him, but two of those losses were bad ones to lesser teams in the Lakers and Suns where Morris' presence would have helped.
Morris won't be at full strength when he returns. The Wizards expect him to play somewhere between 12 and 16 minutes initially and it may take him several weeks to reach midseason form. Still, getting him back in time to play the Cavs' frontcourt with LeBron James and Kevin Love is huge. Otto Porter also missed the Suns game due to an illness and he should be back for Friday.
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Neither team's playing their best
The Wizards aren't feeling great about themselves at the moment, having lost three of their last four games. But the Cavs aren't doing so hot, either. They have lost four straight games and none of them to teams that are all that good. They lost to the Nets, Pelicans, Knicks and Pacers. The Wizards are better than all four of them, at least on paper.
Defense has been a major issue for the Cavaliers. They are allowing opponents to shoot 47 percent (27th in NBA) and score 111.9 points per game (24th). The Cavs have given up 112 points or more in six straight games, including 124 to the Pacers and 123 to the Pelicans. The Wizards have no problem scoring the basketball, but their defense is another story. Expect a high-scoring game on Friday.
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New Cavs players to deal with
The Cavaliers' slow start is understandable to a degree given their roster turnover this offseason. They lost Kyrie Irving in a trade and Isaiah Thomas remains out with a hip injury. Their new players are still getting adjusted and Dwyane Wade in particular is struggling. Wade is averaged just 7.7 points per game in 21.9 minutes per night while shooting 41.4 percent. That's far from what we're used to seeing from him, even in recent years now that he is out of his prime.
Jae Crowder is shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from three. Derrick Rose (15.0 ppg, 51.1% FG) is putting up good numbers, but offense isn't the issue for Cleveland.
The Cavs are also banged up. Tristan Thompson left their last game against the Pacers with a calf strain and will reportedly be out for a few weks. Iman Shumpert will miss Friday's game due to right knee soreness.