The Cavaliers have impressed through their first two games of preseason, smashing the Celtics in much of the meaningful playing time in the first two games. The team played short-handed with many of their veterans resting - they’ll be without Kevin Love again on Monday night, but the other veterans should be suited up against the Pacers.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Enemy Blog: Indy Cornrow
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Online: Fox Sports Go
Cavaliers injuries: Kevin Love (OUT - left foot soreness), Jordan Clarkson (OUT - rest)
Pacers injuries: None to report
Three Things to Watch
- The Cavaliers have continued to push the pace, and it hasn’t particularly mattered who collects the rebound. The team’s guards, forwards, and even centers have been empowered to start pushing the fast break, and it’s allowed the team to exploit some mismatches. This team is going to need to run in order to generate decent offense all season. This is a good start.
- Cedi Osman’s been pulling from three with more aplomb, and he continues to be a threat as a cutter both in the halfcourt and in transition, opening up opportunities for himself and his teammates with his consistent effort. He’s already tried his hand a bit in isolation, something that has mostly gone mostly poorly. What he can do is operate out of the pick and roll and use the additional space granted to flash his passing ability. The Cavaliers need to explore this skillset.
- Collin Sexton needs minutes along slightly better shooting than what he’s gotten to play alongside. Jordan Clarkson, Sam Dekker and Larry Nance Jr. won’t cut it. Minutes alongside Channing Frye, Rodney Hood, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver will really help Sexton develop as a lead ball-handler.
Cedi Osman is looking like the team’s primary perimeter stopper, and while he’s got length and energy, we need to see evidence of his ability to be a strong defender against the league’s best scorers. He should draw the main assignment on Victor Oladipo (Rodney Hood is almost certainly not up to the task), and we’ll see how he does.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction
Again — It’s preseason, guys. It doesn’t matter. Let’s watch this team grow.