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Preseason Game #1 Recap: Cavs 91, Pistons 87

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Detroit Pistons by a score of 91-87 in the first of two preseason matchups.

Cavs leaders:
Points: Irving, 21
Rebounds: Samuels, 7
Assists: Sessions, 6

Quick thoughts:
  • The game started out incredibly sloppy. Neither team could hit anything and it was quite apparent that the players had been in training camp for about a week. The level of play gradually improved and reached a near-watchable level by the end of the game.
  • Byron Scott opted to start Ramon Sessions over Kyrie Irving. I have no problem with this as Irving ended up getting plenty of minutes and closed out the game.
  • Overall, Scott's substitutions were kind of confusing. He essentially used hockey-style shifts and didn't stray from that mold at all. Sessions-Parker-Gee-Jamison-Varejao was the first group of players. The second group consisted of Irving-M. Thompson-Eyenga-T. Thompson-Samuels. I would have preferred to see Kyrie get some minutes with the starters, but I'm not too concerned. It's only preseason and I have no doubt that he will have the starting job soon.
Notable performances
  • Tristan Thompson was nearly invisible for the first half. He committed four fouls and did little else. In the second half, Thompson came out looking like a completely different player. Actually, he looked like the player that we drafted. His motor is incredible and he busted out a few thunderous dunks and emphatic blocks. He still looks quite raw, but has tremendous upside.
  • Anderson Varejao was back to being Andy. He plays nonstop for every single second he is on the floor. He grabbed 4 rebounds, scored 10 points on 4 of 4 shooting and played fantastic defense on Detroit's young big man, Greg Monroe. Until further notice, Andy V is still the best player on the Cavaliers.
  • Samardo Samuels had an interesting game. His box score looks great. He had 15 points on 11 of 16 shooting from the free throw line. Essentially, the big guy got into the paint and the Pistons decided to foul him every single time. In my opinion, he was on the receiving end of some very nice passes from Kyrie and should have finished more of them. He let some passes bounce off his hands and failed to convert some rather easy and-1's. He's a serviceable backup center, I suppose.
Conrad's Player of the Game:
  • Kyrie Irving did not disappoint in his preseason debut. His line was not spectacular, but he looked very good throughout most of the game. He got to the basket with ease and showed his ability to draw fouls. He tossed some really nice passes that his teammates did not finish. As I said before, I'd like to see what this kid can do with other offensive threats on the floor. He's going to be really good. I'm excited. I should relax a little bit, but I'm already ready to hype him up as the favorite for Rookie of the Year. There were, of course, times when he made stupid passes into traffic and took a few bad jumpers. But overall, for a rookie in his first preseason game, Kyrie Irving looked great. I don't think it's a bold statement to say that behind Andy, Irving is the second best player on the Cavaliers.