CLE vs OKC Dream11: The NBA midseason has been in full swing and well, for me, this is tricky terrain. Some players get exhausted by this time, others get injured and others recover. Now one can argue, hey that happens all the time! Except during the midseason window, the trade market heats up which means that combined with injuries and recoveries they create even further lineup shuffles, making the job as a writer difficult and for people engaged in fantasy scenarios, a tricky affair than it already has been. Anyway, in this game, the Oklahoma City Thunder will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cleveland has been a sweet surprise this season and their fans must be glad of the way they have done this season. They have already registered more victories than last season(which had 10 fewer games but yes, even then). This improvement clearly indicates that the Cavaliers can make a deep playoffs run.
On the other hand, the Thunder has been playing as expected and well, they have given no such sweet surprises. The Oklahoma team has one of the worst offensive units, largely dependent upon Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to manufacture offense. This squad is young and unlike Cavs, they have not developed a consistent main five and bench.
Host: Cleveland Cavaliers
Visitors: Oklahoma City Thunder
Match Timing: 23 January, @ 06:30 AM
Venue: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Cavaliers: Length has helped them
I love the Cavs strategy of pitching four Forwards in the lineup. They have proven that basketball is indeed about size and length. Cavaliers have just one guard in the main five which is against the norm. However, it is that one guard in Garland who makes this system works through bis eagle-eye passing. Evan Mobley, the rookie has been a huge spark and a big difference-maker through his acrobatic finishes, defensive tenacity, and various other props. Meanwhile, Jarrett Allen has meshed well, clearing boards, rejecting shots, and plucking rebounds. Markkanen does an important job of knocking down jumpers which help clear lanes for Mobley and Allen. Okoro has been a defensive presence as the wing. To keep the theme of the big lineup going, big Forward Kevin Love has done a wonderful job off the bench, scrapping rebounds, and trust me, his scoring has kept the team afloat and for me, he is surely one of the candidates for the Sixth Player of the Year. Cedi Osman has struggled a bit on the shooting end but the wing goes through rough stretches every now and then.
Thunder: Struggles abound
Thunder basically scratches out most of their offense through the hot-hand of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Shai has done well scoring-wise but the load on him has been too heavy. Dort has been inconsistent and if he were shooting better as a wing, the Thunder could have been doing much better. The biggest sparkplug has been Josh Giddey, grabbing big-time rebounds at the guard position, also figuring it out scoring-wise, and with the knack for finding open teammates. But apart from these two, the rest of the team doesn’t have a player who can score in double-digits even in 75% of the game. The Thunder runs out of options on the scoring end quite a bit and well, you can’t keep running the Shai-specific sets, again and again, it becomes so predictable after all. However, I have been impressed by the play of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, through his hustle and the rebounding end. Overall, even if Wiggins, Kenrich, Jerome, Mann, and Pokuveski have not shown immense developments, the Thunder can stick with at least some of these players. Bazley has come off the bench and has had some strong games but he doesn’t get big-time minutes. Let us see how these young bucks develop!
Oklahoma City Thunder | Cleveland Cavaliers
Games: 45| 46
Wins: 14| 27
Defeats: 31| 19
Cleveland Cavaliers Team News
Cavaliers Expected Starting Five
Stretch-Four: PF: Lauri Markkanen
Wing: Isaac Okoro
Middle: C: Jarrett Allen C: Evan Mobley
Guard: PG: Darius Garland
BENCH: Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo(QUESTIONABLE), Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, Dylan Windler, Ed Davis, RJ Nembhard Jr. Kevin Pangos, Brandon Goodwin.
Oklahoma City Thunder Team News
Thunder Expected Starting Five
Wing/Forward: SF: Luguentz Dort
Middle: PF: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Guards: SG: Aaron Wiggins SG: Josh Giddey PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
BENCH: Mike Muscala, Darius Bazley, Aleksej Pokusevski, Tre Mann, Theo Maledon, Paul Watson, Ty Jerome, Isiah Roby, Olivier Sarr.
Shai is the heart and soul of the scoring end for the Thunder, often scoring around more than 1/4 of the total points for the Thunder. Gilgeous-Alexander has scored in the 29-34 range these days quite a bit but I think he will be more in the 20-25 range here. Shai can be selected as a Star/Pro Player in the Dream 11 NBA Fantasy scenario.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 37-52
Darius reminds me of Chris Paul in his prime(Basically, his New Orleans Hornets days), as he has become one of the best playmakers in the league and has taken his scoring up a notch too. Darius has scored 20+ points and handed over around 10 assists a game consistently this season.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 37-49
Jarrett’s size and the ability to play physically have disrupted the rhythm of opposing bigs time and time again. The highly talented Center has figured in the 12-18 points and 10-15 rebounding range continually this season while blocking 1+ shots regularly.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 28-44
Giddey is one of the best rookies this season and he has already become a highly effective all-around player, especially on the rebounding end. The young guard has mostly scored in the 10-14 range(sometimes scoring like 18+ as you can see above), while grabbing 6-11 rebounds and dishing 5-8 assists a game regularly.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 26-36
Dort has not been an efficient shooter from the field, and no, it is not like he has misfired every game but he has some lengthy windows, where he can struggle to shoot. Luguentz has scored in the 15-18 range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 19-29
Evan has been having a wonderful rookie season and yes, he is a terrific offensive player and rebounder but it is his defensive ability that has been the real difference-maker. Mobley has scored in the 15-18 points range while grabbing 8 or more rebounds while blocking 1 or more shots regularly this season.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 33-42
CLE vs OKC Dream11 Team
PG: S Gilgeous-Alexander(PP)
SG: D Garland(SP), I Okoro
SF: L Markkanen, A Wiggins
PF: K Love, J Robinson-Earl
C: J Allen
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The contest can’t be followed on streaming services like Voot and JIO TV, whereas Televisión channels MTV and VH1 are also not going to broadcast this game. That is why I believe that the best mode to witness the scintillating action of all the games is through the annual subscription, where all live streams and also full game replays are available. For following the score and peek at the stats, go to the official website of the NBA.