GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Nets

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Kyrie Irving, Derron Williams

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold open up their 2013-14 Season tonight at Quicken Loans Arena against the Brooklyn Nets at 7:00 p.m. ET.

This preseason, the Cavaliers tallied a 4-4 record while out-rebounding their opponents by an average of nearly five rebounds per game.

Tristan Thompson led the Cavs in rebounding by averaging 9.1 boards to go along with 12.5 points a contest while Kyrie Irving was tops in points (16.5) and assists (5.1).

Brooklyn went 5-2 in exhibition play and come into tonight's contest featuring a revamped roster. In the offseason, Brooklyn traded for future Hall-of-Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and added Andrei Kirilenko and former Cavalier Shaun Livingston via Free Agency.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Earl Clark
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Nets: PG - Deron Williams, SG - Joe Johnson, SF - Paul Pierce
PF - Kevin Garnett, C - Brook Lopez

Injuries: (Cavs) - Tyler Zeller, (Appendectomy, TBD), Andrew Bynum, (Right Knee Surgery, TBD), Carrick Felix, (Mild Sports Hernia, Out), Sergey Karasev, (Sprained Left Ankle, TBD), C.J. Miles, (Right Calf, TBD)

(Nets) - Andrei Kirilenko, (Back, Doubtful), Shaun Livingston, (Stiff Neck, Probable)

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Wine and Gold hold an 87-70 all-time record against the Nets including a 23-12 mark at Quicken Loans Arena.

In the two teams' last meeting on April 3rd of last season, Kyrie Irving finished with 16 points, six assists, one steal and one block in 28 minutes. Tyler Zeller tallied 14 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting from the field and four rebounds in 26 minutes and C.J. Miles recorded 11 points on 3-4 (.750) shooting, three rebounds and one steal in 13 minutes off the bench.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Fastbreak Opportunities

On top of being one of the older teams in the league, Brooklyn's starting lineup has great size at every position.

The Wine and Gold should look to use these factors to their advantage by looking to push the basketball down the floor when the opportunity presents itself.

In order to create these fastbreak opportunities, the Cavaliers will have to do a good job of defending and rebounding the basketball.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

Tonight's frontcourt battle will be one of size and strength versus athleticism and hustle.

The Cavaliers starting frontcourt of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao are the epitome of athleticism and hustle. Their relentless play creates many second chance opportunities for themselves and their teammates.

In last year’s season opener, a 94-84 victory over Washington, Varejao had a record-setting night after finishing with career highs of 23 rebounds (12 offensive) and nine assists to go along with nine points in 37 minutes. He joined Wilt Chamberlain (11 points, 30 rebounds and nine assists on Oct. 18, 1967) as the only players in NBA history to record at least nine points, 23 rebounds and nine assists in a team’s first game of a regular season.

Thompson, who recorded a team-high 31 double-doubles during the 2012-13 Regular Season, posted two double-doubles in the 2013 Preseason while nearly averaging a double-double.

Brooklyn's boasts one of the biggest frontcourts in the league with Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.

Lopez led the Nets in scoring last season, averaging 19.4 points per game and posted a career-best 2.1 blocks per game while making his first All-Star appearance.

Garnett got his 15th All-Star nod last season and currently ranks 7th in NBA history in minutes per game (47,801) and 10th in rebounds (13,843).

Where to Catch the Action

TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBATV Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check cavs.com for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

Use the official mobile app of the Cleveland Cavaliers to enhance your experience with the team 24/7. Feel like you’re at the game with real time updates during the action and easy access to team news, social media, and forums.

Promotions/Giveaways

  • Opening Night and Magnet Schedule Giveaway presented by Kenda Tires
  • T-Shirt Giveaway compliments of Cleveland Clinic

On Deck

After tonight's Home Opener, the Cavaliers head out for a mini weekend road trip as they travel to Charlotte on Friday night and Indiana on Saturday.