The Cavaliers will play their final two preseason games in New York against the Knicks. Their two-game series starts tonight at 7:30.
How to watch:
Fox Sports Ohio (for those of us lucky enough to still have the station), Fox Sports Go, and NBA League Pass.
Who knows? It’s preseason and getting the best starting lineup out there isn’t the goal. But, if I was to guess I’d say we see:
Cavs: Darius Garland /
Collin Sexton Damyean Dotson/ Isaac Okoro/ Kevin Love Dean Wade / Andre Drummond
Knicks: Elfrid Payton / Alec Burks / RJ Barrett / Julius Randle / Nerlens Noel
This section will be updated as we get closer to tip-off and find out more.
Things to watch for:
- Collin Sexton will not be back. Sexton took a big leap last year after the Jordan Clarkson trade. We’ve been dying to see what he’s been working on in the nine months he had off.
According to #Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Collin Sexton was able to go through shootaround today but will not play tonight against the Knicks. If everything goes as planned, Sexton will play Friday.— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) December 16, 2020
Hopefully Sexton will be able to take the court Friday night as Bickerstaff stated. It is concerning that we haven’t seen the starting backcourt play together yet considering the rust we’ve seen in the first two games, the lengthy off-season, and the abbreviated training camp. The first handful of regular season games could be a rough watch.
- Darius Garland continues to look better. The second-year guard has had two solid outings to open up the preseason. He’s had the command and freedom to do what he wants with the offense which has allowed him to have some success. Turnovers have been an issue of concern, but his ability to get to where he wants on the court is something we didn’t see a lot of last season. I’m interested to see if he can clean up the turnover issue some while still playing with the freedom we saw in the first two games.
- Isaac Okoro vs. Obi Toppin. This will be a fun matchup to watch. Toppin had a solid open to his preseason with an 11 point performance on 4-9 shooting from the floor with 7 boards and a block. He followed that up with a disappointing 4 point outing while shooting 1-9 from the field on Sunday. Conversely, Okoro has been a picture of consistency so far as he’s poured in 18 and 15 points respectively while providing impressive on-ball defense. These two players will most likely not be matched against each other, but it’ll still be interesting to see them share the court given the various draft rumors about both of them.
- Dante Exum seemed to have found something on Monday night when he contributed 23 points on seven of 11 shooting with 5 assists, and 4 boards. The backup point guard spot appears to be his to lose. I’m interested to see how those numbers translate when he’s playing with a more established second unit and not against end of the bench players, but then again they are playing the Knicks so we may have to wait a little longer there.
- Andre Drummond showed why he still has value on Monday night. He seems to have developed a decent repertoire with Garland and is still physically dominating when he wants to be.
- The battle for starting forward could get interesting. I think it’s Isaac Okoro’s job to lose. I believe he’s shown enough so far this preseason. Furthermore, I believe he slots in nicely alongside Garland and Sexton considering he brings defensive physicality and the ability to finish in transition. You never know how much weight to put into preseason games when it comes to projecting the opening day starting lineup. With Cedi out again, Okoro should have a good opportunity to show why he should be the opening day starter.
- Other notes. Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., and Matthew Dellevadova did not make the trip to New York. So we won’t be seeing them until the regular season. Collin Sexton, Kevin Love, Javale McGee, and Cedi Osman will also be missing tonight’s game but their status for Friday is unknown at this time.