Apr 25, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Samardo Samuels (24) puts up a shot as Washington Wizards small forward Chris Singleton (31) defends during the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Cleveland Cavaliers Preview: Game 1 vs. Washington Wizards

In the first Cavaliers game of the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Tip off is at 7 p.m. and the game is airing live on Fox Sports Ohio. It will also air live on radio on WTAM 1100, a Cleveland-based radio station.  The game is actually the first official NBA game of the season.

The Wizards are missing a big piece in point guard John Wall, who is out with a knee injury. Wall’s injury takes away the marquee match up in this game, which would have been Wall versus Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving. The two are considered by many to be among the elite young point guards in the league. Irving, especially, seems to have all the makings of a legitimate NBA superstar.

The other interesting match up in this game is between Dion Waiters of Cleveland and Bradley Beal of Washington. Both are rookie shooting guards who are expected to help their teams immediately, but so far they are on different tracks. Beal, the former Florida star, averaged 11.3 points in the preseason while Waiter averaged 8.6 points. Neither of them shot well, but overall Beal has had a smoother transition to life in the Association. It will be interesting to see how this match up plays out.

The Cavaliers will start Irving at point guard, Dion Waiters at shooting guard, Alonzo Gee at small forward, Tristan Thompson at power forward and Anderson Varejao at center. This lineup is largely what was expected, sans Gee.  Until recently, it seemed for certain that C.J. Miles would start at small forward over Gee. The Wizards have announced their starting lineup as well, putting A.J. Price at point guard, Beal at shooting guard, Trevor Ariza at small forward, Trevor Booker at power forward and Emeka Okafor at center.

This is a game the Cavaliers should win. Irving will be the best player on the court, and none of the other point guards on Washington’s roster (Price and Jannero Pargo) are capable of playing on Irving’s level. The Cavaliers also have an advantage up front, as their four-man rotation (Thompson, Varejao, Tyler Zeller and Samardo Samuels) is better than the Wizards duo (Okafor and Brian Cook). This won’t be a pretty game, but if the Cavs are going to be any good this season, this is a team they should beat.

Preseason Statistics

Cavaliers Points Per Game –  92.4 PPG

Wizards Points Per Game – 95.6 PPG

Cavaliers Leading Scorer – Kyrie Irving, 15.4 PPG

Wizards Leading Scorer – Martell Webster – 12.0 PPG

Cavaliers Shooting Percentage – 42.2%

Wizards Shooing Percentage – 35.1%

Cavaliers Total Rebounds per game – 41.14 per game

Wizards Total Rebounds per game – 44.63 per game

Cavaliers Turnovers per game – 19.0

Wizards Turnovers per game – 16.13

Cavaliers points against – 93.3 per game

Wizards points against – 99.1 per game

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters Kyrie Irving

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