The Cavs finish up the preseason tonight at 7:30 p.m. as they take on the New York Knicks at the Garden. The Cavs will look to split this mini preseason series with a win tonight and finish 3-1 overall.
How to watch:
Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Go, and NBA League Pass.
The Cavs starting lineup has been unpredictable so far. They’ve taken a cautious approach this preseason and we’ve yet to see the full, projected starting lineup on the court together. I would guess that we see most of them play tonight since it’s the final tune-up before the regular season, but then again we don’t know. At the very least we know for sure that we won’t be seeing Kevin Porter Jr., Larry Nance Jr., and Matthew Dellevadova as they did not make the trip to New York.
Right now, I have Okoro above Cedi Osman in the opening day starting lineup. I believe Okoro has done enough so far to prove that he is deserving of the starting spot. At the very least, I think he will start tonight as I’m sure the coaching staff would like to see how he looks next to Garland and Sexton provided both of them play.
Cavs: Darius Garland / Collin Sexton / Isaac Okoro /
Kevin Love Cedi Osman / Andre Drummond
Knicks: Elfrid Payton / RJ Barrett / Reggie Bullock / Julius Randle / Mitchell Robinson
This section will be updated as we get closer to tip-off and find out more about who is and is not available for Cleveland.
Things to watch for:
- Collin Sexton should be back. This is reason enough alone to watch this game. We haven’t seen Sexton play in nine months. He was really showing some good things before the pandemic shut everything down. It’s time to see how he’s progressed, how he looks playing off the ball, and how he looks alongside Okoro and Garland. Unfortunately, it appears that Sexton will be limited to 15 to 18 minutes tonight. While we’d all like to see him play more, I guess some Sexton is better than no Sexton.
- How will Andre Drummond look with a fuller team around him? Drummond looked good against New York on Wednesday night. He finished with 18 points, 14 boards, and five assists in just 21 minutes of play. With that said, he was playing with Garland, a rookie, and two players who will be fighting for minutes on the roster. I’m interested to see how he plays tonight when he’s surrounded by more offensive talent provided the Cavs play most of their starters.
- Darius Garland’s aggressiveness. Garland played really aggressively on offense on Wednesday which was great to see. He took some pull-up threes and drove to the basket for his patented teardrop floater repeatedly. The only problem was they didn’t fall. Garland finished the game with 13 points on 4-13 shooting. I loved the aggressiveness he showed, it’s now time for him to start making those shots.
- Will Dylan Windler find his rhythm? Windler has done some good things in all three preseason games, but he hasn’t found his rhythm yet. Some of his shots look pure while some are absolutely awful. I’m encouraged that he’s looked more and more comfortable each game. We’ll see if that trend continues tonight.
- Can Okoro keep playing this good? Okoro has averaged 14.3 points per game while shooting 62.5% from deep this preseason. Those numbers, well at least his three-point percentage, aren’t sustainable. I’m interested to see how his game looks at this level when he doesn’t have his shot going. Is his defense good enough to have him in the starting lineup when he isn’t making everything? I think it could be, but we don’t really know yet if you’re judging him by his preseason performances. I hope his hot shooting continues, but if it doesn’t I’ll be interested to see how he still factors into winning basketball.
- Updates. Kevin Love will miss tonight’s game. Dante Exum and Cedi Osman are probable. There’s no word yet on the starting lineup.
#Cavs injury report going into tonight's preseason finale is massive:— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) December 18, 2020
Kevin Love - OUT
Kevin Porter Jr. - OUT
Matthew Dellavedova - OUT
Larry Nance Jr. - OUT
Dante Exum - DOUBTFUL
Levi Randolph - QUESTIONABLE
Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton and Charles Matthews are all PROBABLE
The next time I will be writing one of these it will be for a regular-season Cavs game. That is something we can all be excited about.