Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (2/23/24)

The Cleveland Cavaliers (36-18) meet the Philadelphia 76ers (32-23) this Friday (2/23/24). Get Cavaliers vs. 76ers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction

*All 76ers stats are post Embiid injury

Philadelphia is averaging the fourth most field goal attempts within eight feet of the basket. They struggle to produce when opponents limit paint opportunities though due to their pitiful 33.8 3PT%. Enter the Cavaliers, who surrender the lowest field goal percentage within eight feet of the basket. Evan Mobley (8th) and Jarrett Allen (24th) both rank highly in rim points saved per 75 possessions via Basketball Index and should neutralize Philadelphia’s interior scoring.

Cleveland’s guards excel at limiting pull-up threes and funneling ball handlers inside the arc. Tyrese Maxey lacks a reliable inbetween game, so he cannot utilize a pull-up midrange jumper that is typically open against Cleveland. Additionally, Tobias Harris’ isolation scoring will be a non-factor against Mobley’s sticky defense. Overall, Philadelphia likely struggles against Cleveland’s stingy defense.

Meanwhile, the 76ers rank 27th in Defensive Rating. They struggle mightily to wall off drivers, which leads to plenty of clean catch-and-shoot looks for shooters. As a result, the 76ers give up the seventh most open plus wide open three-point attempts per game. Factor in Philadelphia’s thin bench, and Cleveland should comfortably take this game by at least eight to ten points.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction: Cavaliers -4

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Best Odds

The Cavaliers are four point favorites, although that may change depending on Donovan Mitchell’s status. Cleveland is 7-5-1 against the spread as home favorite, while Philadelphia is 1-4 against the spread as home underdogs.

For the 76ers’ +160 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win here at least 39 percent of the time.

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Max Strus
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: De’Anthony Melton
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Paul Reed

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Injuries

Donovan Mitchell is questionable with an illness after missing last night’s game. Given that he attended shootaround yesterday morning per Chris Fedor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the importance of tonight’s game, I expect him to suit up. However, role players Ty Jerome and Tristan Thompson will miss the contest.

Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, and Kyle Lowry are sidelined for Philadelphia. Nicolas Batum holds a questionable tag, and De’Anthony Melton is probable to return from injury for the first time since January 12th. It’s probable that Melton sees a minutes restriction though.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Key Matchups

Cavaliers Offensive Rebounding

The 76ers are 19th in opponent offensive rebound rate and can get overwhelmed on the glass at times. Cleveland isn’t elite, but they do sit 12th in offensive rebound rate and play jumbo lineups. If the Cavaliers can snag extra possessions and generally bully Philadelphia around the basket, then it’s difficult to envision them losing this contest.

Donovan Mitchell’s Health

Mitchell directly generates 45.1 points per game via scoring and assists, so he’s an absolutely crucial producer for their offense. In addition, Mitchell’s off-ball gravity forces defenders to keep close and avoid helping inside. If Mitchell cannot play, then Philadelphia’s chances skyrocket.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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