The Cavaliers took their first bump of the preseason after falling to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night — they aim to head into the regular season with a win at MSU’s Breslin Center against the Detroit Pistons. Does anybody else feel like Dan Gilbert would sort of just...rather own the Pistons at this point? The man’s obsession with all things Detroit/Michigan runs bone deep. I still can’t believe the Cavs passed on Miles Bridges for this very reason.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Enemy Blog: Detroit Bad Boys
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Online: Fox Sports Go
Cavaliers injuries: Larry Nance Jr. (OUT - sprained ankle), Isaiah Taylor (OUT - stress fracture in leg)
Pistons injuries: TBD
Three Things to Watch
- For better or worse (likely for worse), the Pistons roster features some of the very same lineup contruction issues that the Cavaliers have, except they’re just more talented. In a league that’s consistently getting smaller and switchier, the strength of the Pistons lies in their frontcourt of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. They can certainly win most battles on the boards, but they often won’t have enough fire power to beat good teams.
- Reggie Bullock has managed to transform himself from “player that’s way better than he actually is on NBA 2K” into a reasonably strong three-and-D player. It feels like he’s been around forever at this point, but he’s only 27. He’ll be someone who will expect a decent payday hitting free agency this upcoming offseason — the Pistons could be wise to try to get something for him on the trade market from a contender before losing him for nothing or potentially overpaying.
- The Cavaliers looked awful against the Pacers, and ideally Kevin Love will be back in the lineup to help juice the spacing, add some post-up versatility and in general keep things moving. The Cavaliers remaining players against Indy failed to do so — having some core guys back will help, even without Larry Nance.
If Blake Griffin and Kevin Love both play, they’re always among the most fun matchups to watch. Neither has historically been able to guard the other due to their highly varied play styles, and there tends to be fireworks when they match up. Hopefully we’ll get to see these two duel.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Again — It’s preseason, guys. It doesn’t matter. Let’s watch this team grow.