Gametime: 7 p.m. ET, Sunday October 23
Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio
TV: NBC Sports Washington, NBA TV
WIZARDS—Corey Kispert, OUT (Left Ankle Sprain); Vernon Carey Jr., QUESTIONABLE (Concussion Protocol).
CAVALIERS—Darius Garland, DOUBTFUL (eye); Ricky Rubio, OUT (Knee Surgery); Dylan Windler, QUESTIONABLE (ankle)
What To Watch For
Another day, another game against a potential Eastern Conference playoff team. After staving off the Chicago Bulls, who played without All-Star guard Zach LaVine on Friday, the Washington Wizards pay a visit to their old friends the Cleveland Cavaliers, who could potentially be missing All-Star guard Darius Garland when the two teams square off on Sunday.
Garland suffered a laceration in his eye after Gary Trent Jr. swiped at him during their opening loss to the Toronto Raptors. But even without Garland, it’s far from a guaranteed victory. Donovan Mitchell introduced himself to the Cavs fanbase with a spectacular debut on Wednesday, piling on 31 points and nine assists with his backcourt partner on the sidelines. He’ll undoubtedly be the focal point for their offensive attack.
The big man battle will be the matchup to watch as Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen take on Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. On paper, you would think that Mobley lines up well against Kuzma on the defensive end, but so far that hasn’t been the case. In four games against the Cavs last season, all of which Mobley played, Kuz averaged 23.3 points per game on 57.1 percent shooting from the field and 56.7 percent from beyond the arc.
It’s hard to imagine he’ll be able to replicate those shooting splits again, but he does have KP now to take away some of the defensive attention from the two shot-blocking Cavs bigs. Washington split the season series against Cleveland with all games coming before the debut of Porzingis.