Skip to main content

Cavaliers-Nets Preview

  • Author:
  • Publish date:

It's always a big deal when LeBron James goes to New York City.

Before he meets up with good friend Carmelo Anthony, he first must face the other team in town when his Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

Anything James says becomes headline news, and the questions should be fast and furious to him on this trip that includes Saturday's contest with Anthony and New York. James caused a stir when he said he eventually wanted to play with Anthony, Chris Paul and former Miami teammate Dwyane Wade.

"I don't know how realistic it could be," he said. "It would definitely be cool if it happened. I mean, if you got an opportunity to work with three of your best friends, no matter what. It's not even about sports, it's about being around guys that you don't even have to say nothing, you automatically know. We just have that type of history, so, can it happen? I don't know if it can even happen but it would be cool."

There's no guarantee that James will be on the court against the lowly Nets since it is a good opportunity for coach Tyronn Lue to rest him. James had 26 points and eight assists in Wednesday's 113-104 win over Milwaukee.

Cleveland (51-20) is 10-6 in the second half of back-to-back sets. Lue said he would consult with the training staff to decide who will sit.

"It could be a possibility that guys will sit out," Lue said.

Kevin Love sat out Monday's 124-91 win over Denver with an illness before returning against the Bucks with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Kyrie Irving had 16 points, eight assists and eight boards.

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

Love said he wasn't sure why the Cavaliers' three stars all played well or why it doesn't happen more often.

"From game to game, it's going to be different," Love said. "That's something I've had to learn and try to get used to it."

Cleveland has won 10 of 13 and looks to improve to 3-0 against Brooklyn (19-51) this season. Love had 43 points and 25 rebounds in the first two meetings, with Irving sitting out one of them.

The Nets are a different team now as they no longer have Joe Johnson and are giving younger players minutes.

Sean Kilpatrick is averaging 18.0 points on 63.3 percent shooting in his last five games after he scored a career-high 25 in Tuesday's 105-100 defeat to Charlotte. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played for the first time in 51 games due to an ankle injury and scored five in 15 minutes.

"I like the spirit of Sean Kilpatrick, I love the spirit of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson," interim coach Tony Brown said. "He's getting a chance to play again and they're playing their butts off when they're out there."

Brooklyn has lost seven of eight with the lone victory over a league-worst Philadelphia team that has beaten the Nets twice.

Brook Lopez leads the Nets with 38 points and 19 boards against the Cavs.