The Cleveland Cavaliers are back in action as they take on the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of the preseason. Traditionally the Hawks play their last game of the year against the Cavs. But with no real chance of that this season, being the Cavs first preseason game will have to do.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks
When: 7 p.m .
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio.
Enemy Blog: Peachtree Hoops
TV: NBA TV
Cavs injuries: LeBron James (OUT - ankle)
Hawks injuries: DeAndre’ Bembry (OUT - triceps), Miles Plumlee (OUT - quad).
Three keys to the game
- Do the Cavs get out and run? We saw them play an up-tempo style in their scrimmage, but the pace they play at against another NBA roster will be an area of interest.
- What kind of rotation does Tyronn Lue use? While we know that the starters won’t see lots of minutes, while they are in it’ll be interesting to see what combination of players get used on the court. There has been talk of Dwyane Wade being used as a back-up point guard, and he could see the bulk of his minutes as the primary initiator of the offense. Or maybe we will see more sets run through Kevin Love at center? The different line combinations and the types of looks they will try to create is one of the bigger mysteries surrounding the team at the moment.
- While this summer wasn’t kind to the Hawks, the one constant with them is that they are well coached and will play hard. They will be a little sharper than the Cavs with a preseason game under their belt and will test the attentiveness of Cleveland on the defensive end. While they may not necessarily hit their shots if left open, it will be worth keeping an eye on how successful the Cavs are in executing defensively and whether or not they are making the right rotations. It could be a useful litmus test to determine how practices have been going.
Derrick Rose vs. Dennis Schroeder. Rose is going to need to step up while Isaiah Thomas is out, and skewering Hawks point guards is a crucial step in establishing yourself as a Cavs point guard.
Fear the Sword’s Fearlesss Prediction
The Hawks are going to be bad. They might win this game though. I’ll say they won’t and Edy Tavares records 5 blocks in 12 minutes. Cavs win 104-96.