The gang is back together (minus Isaiah Thomas, that is)! LeBron James makes his preseason debut after dealing with an ankle injury suffered during practice, and the rest of the rotation will join him against the Bulls.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Enemy Blog: Blog A Bull
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Go
Cavs injuries: Iman Shumpert (OUT - left foot), Isaiah Thomas (OUT - hip)
Bulls injuries: Zach LaVine (OUT - ACL), Kris Dunn (left index finger), Quincy Pondexter (left hamstring)
Three keys to the game
- LeBron! Remember him? We haven’t seen him since Game 5 in Oakland, and he’s going to have a lot to prove heading into a season where Kyrie Irving functionally asked not to play with him anymore. This will be the first time we’re seeing him play alongside Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, Jeff Green, and the older version of Dwyane Wade, of course.
- Speaking of those new faces, this will be the first time we see the Cavs starting lineup to start the season. Dwyane Wade was the final piece in that starting five. They’ve played great early in preseason, blitzing opposing teams to snag big leads without James. They’ve pushed hard in transition, moved the ball, and operated well on cuts and dives to the rim. We’ll see if they maintain the same free-wheeling style with the famously controlling James back at the helm.
- How will J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver share a bench? The two play almost the exact same role for the Cavaliers, and taking either out of what they do best to take on a secondary role on bench units could be a problem. As stated over and over again, Tyronn Lue is going to have a lot of work this season. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s a problem.
LeBron James vs Ryan Arcidiacano. And no, I didn’t double check how to spell Archie’s name. And I’m not going to. You can’t make me. The Bulls are so awful.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
The Cavs might actually win this one since they need to get reps for some of their main lineups they’ll run out in the regular season.
They’re also the Cavs. Bulls 102, Cavs 97.