Due to the extremely short off-season and training camp that resulted from the lockout, all NBA teams will play two preseason games. Each team was paired with another team in the same general geographic area to have a home and home series with. Friday night, the Cavaliers tip off for the first time against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace at Auburn Hills.
Do you want a full preview for this game? I hope not, because I truthfully don't know a whole lot more than you do. This will be the first time that we see this Cavs team in action. There has been quite a bit of roster turnover since the end of last season with the obvious additions of Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and Omri Casspi. The Cavs will be without J.J. Hickson and the recently waived Baron Davis. During training camp on Thursday, Byron Scott gave a vague preview of what the starting lineup would look like in the first of two preseason games. Scott noted that the likely starters would be: Anthony Parker at shooting guard, either Alonzo Gee or Christian Eyenga at small forward (Casspi is expected to sit out the first preseason game with a sore knee, nothing serious, just a precaution), Antawn Jamison at power forward and Anderson Varejao at center.
(More after the jump)
I'm sure you'll notice that Scott opted not to say who would be starting at point guard. Whether this is simply to make sure Kyrie Irving stays motivated and knows that he is not simply entitled to the starting job or if Scott truly hasn't decided who will start yet, I guess we will find out sometime on Friday. Now that Baron Davis has been cut from the roster, there are only two options at PG. It comes down to either Ramon Sessions or the rookie, Irving. Truthfully, I have no problem with whoever Scott chooses to start. If he believes that Irving will be better suited off the bench as he learns the PG position in the NBA, then that's fine with me. Sessions played quite well last season and it may be wise for the Cavaliers to showcase him along with various other veterans (Jamison, Varejao) if they intend to bump up their trade value and get young assets in return. In the long run, however, I believe Irving will be the starter and I expect that to be sooner rather than later.
As far as the Pistons are concerned, it remains to be seen who they trot out there on Friday. They are still working on signing guard, Rodney Stuckey and have their own first round PG in Brandon Knight. It will be interesting to see how much he plays over Will Bynum. With the losses of Richard Hamilton and Tracy McGrady in the offseason, I expect Ben Gordon to start at SG, Tyshaun Prince at SF, Jason Maxiell at PF, and Greg Monroe at C. Other notable Pistons include Jonas Jerebko coming off of a season ending Achilles tendon injury and Charlie Villanueva. I'm sure Ryan Hollins remembers his good friend Charlie.
The game starts at 7:30 PM EST and should be televised locally on Fox Sports Ohio.