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Dion Waiters out; Cavs to start Karasev in place

The Cavaliers rookie shooting guard gets his first start in the NBA tonight.


Second year Dion Waiters said before Tuesday night's preseason game in Canton that he was feeling a bit sore. After the game, he appeared to be limping a bit. Today, the Cavaliers announced that he will not play in tonight's game against the Detroit Pistons due to a right hip contusion. While there isn't any way to know the seriousness of the injury, I wouldn't read too much into it. From Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, earlier today, when asked if Dion would have played if this were a regular season game:

Amico was including Jarrett Jack in his answer, who will miss his second straight preseason game tonight with knee issues. My read is that this is much like Anderson Varejao being given the night off on Tuesday night. Brown is working these guys hard in practice, and feels no need to push them in games that don't matter.

But Dion's absence is rookie shooting guard Sergey Karasev's gain. I am a little surprised that Karasev is starting over C.J. Miles, who at the moment is almost certainly a better NBA player, but it will be neat to see Karasev get some time with the regular starters. After missing Tuesday night's game, I know the Cavs faithful are itching to see him get some real run. In the first couple preseason games he was worked hard defensively, hit some shots, kept the ball moving offensively, and connected with Anthony Bennett for a fun dunk. From Jason Lloyd:

Cavs coach Mike Brown wants to see how Karasev handles the expanded role and how he fits with the rest of the starters.

"The way our rotations are right now are not how we would do it during the regular season," Brown said. "So I’m taking a look at different guys individually and different combinations."

I read this as Mike Brown saying that we shouldn't look into this and see Karasev as this high up on the depth chart. This is the time to let Karasev get acclimated and let him play. I still think he faces an uphill battle to get into the rotation, but who knows? If he can shoot from the outside, he could make an immediate impact. Either way, this is a nice vote of confidence from the head coach.