GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Bucks
The Wine and Gold open preseason action on Tuesday night against division foe the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.
Cleveland fans will get their first look at some of the new additions to the Cavaliers roster including draft picks Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev, Carrick Felix and free agent pickups Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark.
Milwaukee also revamped their roster this past offseason, acquiring Brandon Knight, Caron Butler and Luke Ridnour via trades while adding O.J. Mayo, Zaza Pachulia and Carlos Delfino through free agency.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Earl Clark
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Bucks: PG - Brandon Knight, SG - O.J. Mayo, SF - Caron Butler
PF - Ersan Ilyasova, C - Larry Sanders
*Subject to change
Cleveland is 25-12 in regular season matchups against Milwaukee at The Q. Last season, the division rivals split four games with the Wine and Gold taking the most recent matchup 113-108 in Cleveland on January 25th.
In that game, the Cavaliers trailed by nine at intermission, but the Bucks extended their edge to 20 midway through the third. Then, Kyrie Irving – along with an effective second unit – ignited the comeback. Irving would go on to net 16 of his game-high 35 points in the third quarter as the Wine and Gold took control of the game.
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the Game
Taking Care of the Basketball
The first preseason game always tends to be somewhat sloppy. New teammates, new systems and facing another team besides yourself for the first time lends itself to an increase in mistakes.
The Wine and Gold took solid care of the ball this past season, averaging 14.0 turnovers per game (7th in the NBA). Over the last 43 games of the year, Cleveland turned over the ball just 13.0 times per game, which was the 2nd-lowest in the league since Jan. 14.
Defensively, the Cavs were tied for 9th in the NBA in opponent turnovers per game (15.2) and forced at least 20 turnovers 11 times on the year.
Whichever team takes better care of the basketball gives themselves a distinct advantage.
Cavs Bigs vs. Bucks Bigs
One of the key matchups tonight will be the battle in the paint between Cleveland's Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao versus Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders.
The Bucks one-two punch can give any team problems at both ends of the floor. Ilyasova poses an offensive threat and can stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting while Sanders is a high energy guy who can change a game with his defense. Last season, Sanders finished second in the NBA with 2.8 blocks per game.
With Sanders over-aggressiveness on help side defense, this should allow Thompson and Varejao plenty of second chance opportunities.
Prior to his injury last season, Varejao led all qualifying NBA players in rebounds per game (14.4), offensive rebounds per game (5.5).
Thompson also had a phenomenal season on the offensive glass in 2012-13. The 2nd year pro averaged 3.7 offensive rebounds per game, which ranked 5th in the league. Furthermore, he set the Cavaliers franchise record for most offensive rebounds in a single season with 306, surpassing Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ 299 offensive rebounds in the 2004-05 season.
Preseason Games at Quicken Loans Arena presented by Discount Drug Mart
The Cavaliers will host three preseason home games at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday, October 8th vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:00 p.m.; Thursday, October 17th vs. the Detroit Pistons at 7:00 p.m.; and Saturday, October 19th vs. the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. Discount Drug Mart customers using their Courtesy Plus card with the purchase of (2) 8-pack 12 oz. bottles of Pepsi products will receive six (6) free tickets to one of three preseason games hosted at The Q.
Where to Catch the Action
TV: FSOhio HD, Radio: WTAM 1100
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