The Cavaliers have lost four straight road games, tied for their longest streak since LeBron James returned to Cleveland.
There’s no better time for the long-awaited Cavs debut of Isaiah Thomas, who is set to take the court Tuesday against Portland. Cleveland then faces a five-game road trip with the first stop coming against Thomas’ former team, the Celtics, a game he’ll sit out. Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game last season in Boston, the second-most in a season in Celtics history. — Vincent Johnson
The Rockets have lost five of their past six games, and now James Harden is out at least two weeks with a strained hamstring, but Chris Paul has proven more than capable of running the offense without Harden. This season with Harden off the court, Paul has a player efficiency rating of 37.1 (18.2 with Harden on the court) and has scored or assisted on 64 percent of the Rockets’ points. Houston has outscored opponents by 89 points in 196 minutes with Paul on and Harden off. — Vincent Johnson
The Spurs have eight double-digit losses this season, their most entering January in the past 20 seasons. That also matches their total from all of the previous season. But they’re still the Spurs, currently sitting third in the Western Conference as they continue to ease Kawhi Leonard back into his superstar form. — Vincent Johnson
After a scoreless first game with the Rockets, Green scored 18, 10, and 27 points in consecutive games. On Thursday facing Golden State, Green exploded for 29 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Houston signed Green and has mostly asked him to do one singular thing: shoot threes. He has hit 21 threes over the past four games, including 15 in the past two.
Look: Green won’t always do what he did on Thursday. In one instance, he banked in a step-back three-pointer. Green completed a four-point play in the corner, too. It has been unconscious shooting even as Green works his way back into game shape — remember, this dude wasn’t in the league two weeks ago.
On the other hand, no team makes more sense for Green. Houston shoots more threes than anyone else, and so does Green, a streaky-but-proven scorer who has averaged six or more three-point attempts per 36 minutes in each of his last five seasons.