Game #3 Preview: Cavaliers @ Pacers

The Cavaliers got their first win of the season on Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons and are looking to make it two in a row. Rookies Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson looked great in the 105-89 win and Cavs fans finally have something awesome to look forward to this season. The nightmare of last season seems to be behind us; we're moving forward, don't look back.

Song Of The Day: Don't Look Back - Boston


Tonight's Overview:

Cleveland Cavaliers (1-1) @ Indiana Pacers (2-0)

I love the Pacers' squad this year. They've got some great young pieces and are really balanced are essentially every position. They've got some potential future all stars in Danny Granger, Paul George, and Roy Hibbert. They've got competent point guard play in Darren Collison and George Hill. They even added some veteran leadership and experience at the power forward position during the off season with the signing of David West from New Orleans. This is going to be a pretty big test for the Cavs to see where they stand with other teams in the Central Division. It's pretty clear that the Chicago Bulls are the class of the Central Division, but the Pacers are likely the second best team. Tonight's game will be a good all around challenge for our young Cavs team.

Against Detroit, we saw Byron Scott use Samardo Samuels as the backup center instead of Ryan Hollins and Samardo did nothing to make us think that was the wrong choice. Expect to see heavy (ha!) doses of Samuels again tonight. Through two games, we still have not seen Kyrie Irving and Tristan "Tigger" Thompson on the court at the same time. Until Byron Scott uses the two young studs at the same time, I will mention this in every single article that I write. We saw Irving try to throw an alley-oop in transition last game, the only problem? Antawn Jamison was on the receiving end of it. I have to believe that if Irving and TT got the chance to play together, they'd put together some show-stopping plays.

In an otherwise great performances against the Pistons, the Cavaliers turned the ball over wayyyy too much. I'd be a very happy man if the Cavs could get their turnovers down from 22 to say....14 or 15. A lot of that will be on Irving and Sessions, the two primary ball handlers. It is also up to Samuels and Jamison to catch the damn ball.

It will be interesting again to see how Byron Scott spreads the minutes around. No one player got more than 30 minutes the last time out, but that was partially due to the Cavs large margin of victory. It remains to be seen what lineup Scott decides to use if this is a close game at the end of the 4th quarter. I know I am not alone in wanting to see how KI and Sessions play together in a smaller backcourt, so maybe we'll get a chance to see that tonight.

Injury Report:

Cleveland: Semih Erden (broken thumb)

Indiana: Jeff Foster (back), Jeff Pendergraph (right knee)

Key Matchup:

Darren Collison vs. Kyrie Irving

Once again, all eyes will be on the Cavaliers rookie point guard. It is probably the first time this season that he will have a very talented point guard playing against him. Collison was very impressive when he filled in for a hurt Chris Paul back in his New Orleans days, but was rather disappointing last year for the Pacers. The Pacers brought in George Hill from San Antonio to try to get more effective PG play all around. Regardless, Collison is the one with the speed and athleticism to try to stay with Irving. I'll be watching how these two matchup against each other rather closely.

Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:

The reverse jinx worked last game so I'm going with it again. The Pacers unfortunately knock off the Cavs by a score of 108-102. I think tonight is the night we finally get to see Irving and Tigger on the floor at the same time. Irving will make a nice dish leading to a devastating slam by Thompson. The crowd will be in awe, I will drop my beverage and yell, consequently scaring my dog, but the Cavs will ultimately lose the game.

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