The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena to kick off their 2013-14 NBA season. The sweet intro video has been made, the stadium will likely be sold out, and I know that Moondog is ready. But before we get to tip-off, we still have some unanswered questions.
When will Andrew Bynum be cleared to play?
This is a question that we could be asking all season long. But if we're lucky, we'll get the answer sooner rather than later. Every report out of the Cavaliers' training camp has been positive. Andrew Bynum is playing 5-on-5 and participating in most of the team's practice. But he still hasn't been cleared to play in an actual NBA game. He's currently listed as one of tomorrow night's inactives, along with Carrick Felix. But that doesn't necessarily mean he has to stay that way.
Just to fan Andrew Bynum flames: Mike Brown said he hasn't yet been cleared for games, but also didn't say he's definitely out tmrw. #Cavs— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) October 29, 2013
Basically, Andrew Bynum hasn't been cleared to play. But he hasn't not been cleared to play either. I don't think even the most optimistic Cavs fans thought that Bynum would have a chance to play on opening night. And even still, I don't expect him to. But if everything continues to go smoothly, it sounds like Bynum will be back pretty soon.
Who will start at small forward?
Assuming that Andrew Bynum isn't playing against the Nets, four of the five starters are set. Kyrie Irving will start at point guard. Dion Waiters will start at shooting guard. Tristan Thompson will start at power forward. Anderson Varejao will start at center. But what about small forward?
Throughout the preseason, we have been following the incredibly unexciting small forward position battle between Earl Clark, Alonzo Gee, and CJ Miles. We know that Mike Brown favors defense over offense and that probably narrows it down to Gee and Clark. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports, Brown still hasn't made his choice. However, it would seem like Earl Clark has the inside track to the starting job.
Cavs coach Mike Brown says no decision on starting small forward. Earl Clark has held it down last 2 days in practice, though. #nba— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) October 28, 2013
Of course, who starts on opening night against the Nets doesn't really matter all that much. Who finishes the game is certainly more important and that's a decision that Brown will be able to make based on the flow of each game. Brown may change starting SF frequently to give difference guys a chance. Or he may pick a guy and stick with him for consistency's sake. Whatever his choice may be, it likely won't make a huge impact on the Cavs in the long run. But it is a little unusual that we are just over 24 hours away from opening night and the starting five is still somewhat of a mystery.
Will Anderson Varejao be limited at all?
Andy is back after his scary season-ending injury and he seems to be fully healthy. He has looked really solid during his time in preseason games, but there's always some question about how much the Cavs should push him. He got more rest during the preseason than some of the younger players, but will that continue during the regular season too?
Will Varejao be on any sort of minutes limit or will Mike Brown trot him out there like the rest of the starters? Varejao suspects that Brown will limit his minutes, at least at first. But what does that mean? We know that Varejao will give 100% no matter how long he's on the court and this team is definitely better when he's out there. I'm hoping that the Cavs are a little bit cautious at first, but eventually just roll with it and let Andy be Andy.
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