If everybody is healthy, Mike Brown shouldn't have a hard time setting most of his starting lineup. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are obviously the starting backcourt. Tristan Thompson will start at power forward. And if Andrew Bynum is good to go, he'll be the starting center. If not, Anderson Varejao will take that spot But there's still one big question mark: small forward.
According to Joe Gabriele from Cavs.com, Mike Brown is considering three players for the starting small forward position. Here's what Mike Brown said about the competition.
"Earl will be. Alonzo (Gee) will be. And CJ Miles will be. Nobody’s going to be favored, nobody’s going to be a front-runner or anything like that. Right now, I look at those three guys as competing for the small forward spot."
I assumed that Clark and Gee would be competing for the spot, but the inclusion of CJ Miles somewhat surprised me. I always think of CJ as a 2-guard, but I suppose he has adequate size to play small forward as well. Brown says that there's no front-runner for the spot (and he doesn't have to make up his mind until October 30th), but each guy has a significant advantage in area or another. Clark has the distinct size advantage, standing 6-9 with a tremendous wingspan. Alonzo Gee is the best athlete of the group and has carved out a spot in the NBA by focusing on defense, something that Brown obviously values. Miles is easily the best shooter of the group and would really help to space the floor.
Ultimately, it doesn't really matter who gets the starting small forward spot on opening night against the Brooklyn Nets. As you know, the starters don't have to play the entire game together and you can mix and match as the night goes on. Of course, it's usually better to focus on who finishes the game, rather than who starts it. And since it's an 82-game season, the head coach can always change his mind after a couple of games if someone starts to show that they deserve the spot.