CLEVELAND CAVALIERS BASKETBALL IS BACKKKKKKKKKKKK.
Last night, the Cavs took down the Italian team, Montepaschi Siena at Quicken Loans Arena -- but there was no video stream of the game. This time around, the Cavs will be on Fox Sports Ohio as Cleveland fans get a chance to see the team for the first time this season. Of course, it's still just preseason, but who cares?
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (1 preseason win - 0 preseason losses) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (it's preseason stop looking at the team's record)
Where? Canton Memorial Civic Center -- Canton, Ohio -- home of the Canton Charge, Cleveland's D-League Affiliate
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio
When? 7:00 PM Eastern
I need a song that will get me pumped for this game, can you help?
Yes, of course ---- Warning Shot: Machine Gun Kelly
(Also, check out MGK's new album)
Hey, Conrad -- what should I watch for tonight?
What shouldn't you be watching for tonight? No, but seriously, it's the first *real* preseason game -- so we don't really know. Byron Scott has made it clear that Dion Waiters will need to earn the starting shooting guard spot, so that's a definite storyline. It is my belief that Waiters is clearly the most talented SG on the roster, but Byron wants to test the young man and bring him off the bench. I have no problem with that.
Otherwise, it's the same stuff that we've been talking about all offseason long. Kyrie Irving is a beast, but let's see how that healed hand reacts. Omri Casspi had a nice summer with his national team, so let's see if he can bring that confidence and aggressiveness with him tonight and for the rest of the season. C.J. Miles was thrilled to come to Cleveland and Byron Scott is excited about how Miles' strengths mesh with the rest of this Cavaliers team. In the past, Miles' biggest hurdle has been poor shot selection. Look for plays specifically run to get Miles good looks and see how he reacts to Kyrie creating for him.
On the other side of the ball, we know that Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are going to bring it. What "it" is -- I'm not exactly sure. It could be ridiculously erratic shot selection and it could be lots of swag (okay, it's definitely going to be both of those things). Whether or not those shots go in, is another story. This could be a nice test for Waiters and Kyrie. Waiters has been touted (good or bad?) for his confident-bordering-on-cocky attitude and Kyrie has been criticized for his defensive efforts. How will Waiters react to coming off the bench and playing against another 2-guard with that same aggressive attitude? How will Kyrie balance effort on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball?
Ersan Ilyasova could be a matchup problem for the Cavaliers. His three-point range at the four position is something that both Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao could have problems dealing with. Keep an eye on that matchup as well.
The Revenge of Jon Leuer
Jon Leuer had a solid, productive rookie season with the Milwaukee Bucks. During the offseason, however, the Bucks dealt Leuer to the Houston Rockets, who then waived the second-year power forward. Leuer signed a deal with the Cavs and is trying to make Byron Scott's roster. This is a fun game because the media and fans get to pretend that Leuer has some ill will towards the Bucks for trading him and now he'll try to singlehandedly destroy the Bucks to get his revenge. But reasonable people know that this game is just a business and Leuer doesn't have any hard feelings towards the Bucks....OR DOES HE??
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
The Cavaliers won't be playing to win, necessarily. That is to say, the starters won't be playing huge minutes and Coach Scott has noted that everybody who didn't play last night, will get a chance to play tonight. All that said, the Cavs will still come out with fire and energy. Kyrie Irving is the best player on the court tonight and Dion Waiters uses coming off the bench as extra motivation to take over the game late. Cavaliers win 97-92.
If you have questions, comments, or just want to insult me, feel free to email me at ConradFTS@gmail.com. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at both @FearTheSword and @ConradKaczmarek. Also, like us on Facebook. GO CAVS.