Wizards will be major test for struggling Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers play at the Washington Wizards on Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) with a difficult task in store against John Wall & Co.

The Cavs are off to the worst eight-game start with LeBron James since his rookie year when Cleveland began the season 2-6. They have been outscored by 55 points this season and are on a four-game losing streak. The Cavs have lost by a combined 58 points in their last three games and have four losses against teams that missed the playoffs a season ago.

The task for the Cavaliers on Friday against the Wizards is enormous. Cleveland's defense is ailing, and the team has struggled in both pick-and-roll and driving situations, the bread and butter of the Wizards' offense with Wall.

Cleveland will be without Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert, putting more pressure on Kevin Love defensively. Teams have exploited Love in the early going and offenses are scoring 116.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor, compared to 102.5 points when he is off.

This is the worst stretch by a James-led team since the Miami Heat lost five straight games during the 2010-11 season. It won't be easy for Cleveland to turn things around on Friday night.

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