GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Wizards
The Cleveland Cavaliers (0-0) will open their 43rd NBA regular season tonight against the Washington Wizards (0-0) at Quicken Loans Arena. The matchup features two young, athletic teams hungry to make an impact in the Eastern Conference.
Last season, the Wine and Gold (21-45) finished just one game ahead of Wizards (20-46), but both teams come into the 2012-13 campaign with different looks to their roster.
The Cavaliers added rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller through the draft while adding swingman C.J. Miles in free agency. The Wizards new additions include Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor, rookie Bradley Beal and Nene. Nene, along with leading scorer, John Wall, are both out with injuries.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee, PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Wizards: PG - A.J. Price, SG - Bradley Beal, SF - Trevor Ariza, PF - Trevor Booker, C - Emeka Okafor
*Subject to change
The two teams met this preseason at The Q with the Wizards coming away with a 99-95 victory despite Tristan Thompson recording 18 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four blocks in 24 minutes.
Last season, the Cavaliers fell to the Wizards in two of their three matchups. The overall regular season record between these two teams stands at 103-89 in favor of the Wizards. All-time, Cleveland is 57-38 at home, 20-12 at Quicken Loans Arena, and 31-64 on the road against the Wizards.
Key to the Game/Key Matchups
Key to the Game
Taking Care of the Basketball
As mentioned, both teams are young and athletic, and will look to push the tempo at both ends of the floor. With that in mind, the team that takes better care of the ball will have the advantage.
Dion Waiters vs. Bradley Beal
The key matchup would be at point guard had it not been for John Wall's injury; however, the other backcourt matchup should have just as much impact.
The 3rd and 4th overall picks in the 2012 NBA Draft go head-to-head as the Cavaliers Dion Waiters and Wizards Bradley Beal square off. Waiters, the 4th pick, started four out of the Cavs' seven preseason games averaging 8.6 points and 2.1 assists in 22.3 minutes. Beal, the 3rd pick, averaged 11.3 points in the preseason.
Cavs Bench vs. Wizards Bench
Both the Cavs and Wizards have bolstered their benches while adding depth to their rosters coming into the season. The Wine and Gold can counter with solid wings players like C.J. Miles, Omri Casspi and Daniel Gibson while also throwing big men such as Tyler Zeller and Samardo Samuels into the mix. The Wizards are a bit banged up but have their second leading scorer from last season, Jordan Crawford, and versatile second-year man, Jan Vesely, waiting to come in and provide a spark.
Where to Catch the Action