John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.
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: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: TNT (pregame coverage at 6:30 p.m. on CSN)
Live stream: NBA.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Big test for the Wizards
The Wizards have put together a nice little run for themselves. After going 28-12 in their last 40 games, they now sit third in the East at 30-20, 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014-15 season. They have won seven in a row and 17 straight at home. Right now, it's good to be the Wizards.
But throughout this recent stretch, they haven't faced a team the caliber of the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom they meet on Monday night at the Verizon Center. They the defending champions and represented the East in each of the last two Finals. They have LeBron James, the best player on the planet, and they run the conference. Any sort of deep playoff run this spring will go through Cleveland. For the Wizards, this game offers an excellent test of where they are. Can they stack up with one of the league's best, or will they be knocked down a peg and be handed some humble pie? We shall see.
Lot on the line for Wiz
James may not know the exact number, as he mistakenly told ESPN's Lisa Salters on Saturday night that the Wizards have won 13 straight at home. It's actually 17 and it's the second-longest home streak in franchise history only to the 1974-75 Bullets. Either way, it's a big deal and the Wizards will put that streak on the line Monday against one of the NBA's best teams. The Cavs, though, aren't all that great on the road. Despite boasting the second-best overall record in basketball at 34-15, their 12 road wins are tied for 10th-most among NBA teams.
The Wizards, as mentioned above, have also won seven straight games overall. That's their longest win streak in 12 years, since January of 2005. If they win on Monday they will have their longest win streak in 16 years, since 2001 when 38-year-old Michael Jordan's Wizards won a franchise-record nine straight.
Here is a look at the longest winning streaks in franchise history via Basketball Reference:
Kyrie is hurting
Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has already said that he's playing against the Wizards on Monday, but that doesn't mean he will be 100 percent. Irving suffered a right thigh contusion on Wednesday in a game against the Timberwolves and didn't play Saturday as the Cavs beat the Knicks in New York.
Since Irving didn't play on Saturday, he will face the Wizards having rested for four days. That should help what sounds like a minor injury, but it still bears watching. Right now it's not an easy task to play against John Wall and Bradley Beal.