Cleveland Cavaliers Preview: vs. Milwaukee Bucks



The Cleveland Cavaliers played against an NBA team for the first time this pre-season in their latest matchup. Although the contest didn’t carry the weight of what a regular season meeting between these foes will bring, there was still some tenacity on and off the court between the Miami Heat and the Cavs.

The game was played in Brazil, which was neat because Anderson Varejao was treated like a god by fans who watched the game in Rio de Janeiro. The one thing that fans didn’t see but were hoping to was Kyrie Irving, who injured his foot before heading to Brazil with the team. The injury isn’t serious, but it should keep him out at least the next two pre-season games.

The Cavs held on to beat the Heat in the end, and Kevin Love was the star of the night for Cleveland. The floor spacing is going to be a wonderful viewing experience for fans this season, and this contest was proof that the Cavs’ offense is going to be fun to watch. We won’t see Kyrie over the next two days, but the Milwaukee Bucks will be traveling to the Land for a matchup at Quicken Loans Arena.


The Opponent: Milwaukee Bucks

Their Record: 1-2

Tipoff: Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. — Quicken Loans Arena

Where you can watch: Sports Time Ohio

Where you can listen: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS

Previous Matchup: 122-119 win versus Miami Heat — Brazil

Opponent’s Blog: Behind the Buck Pass


Cavaliers: Brendan Haywood (foot, out), Kyrie Irving (ankley, out), LeBron James (back, probable)

Bucks: None


The Milwaukee Bucks were stuck in an unfortunate situation all season long; they weren’t going anywhere in 2013 (or 2014), and they knew it. They finished the season with the league’s worst record, but they weren’t able to capture the prize that the team with the worst record feels like they should inherit after a season of turmoil: the No. 1 draft pick.

Jun 28, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks first round draft pick Jabari Parker waves to fans before throwing the ceremonial first pitch before game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks ended up with the second-best prize: the No. 2 pick, which resulted in Jabari Parker. The Cleveland Cavaliers, a team fighting for thefinal playoff spot in the Eastern Conference near the very end of the season, ended up with what Milwaukee thought should have been theirs. With the No. 1 pick the Cavs selected Andrew Wiggins and flipped him in a deal for Kevin Love. The Cavs are now the NBA’s scariest megateam, and things started to fall into place when the balls didn’t bounce in the direction in which they should have.

However, fans won’t be able to see the full megateam that the Cavaliers will have on display this season. Kyrie Irving injured his ankle during the practice before the team took off for Rio, and coach David Blatt has already made it clear that he won’t be playing in either of the team’s next two exhibition games.

Another cog may be missing as well, as LeBron James will be sitting out one of the next two games to rest his back. James mentioned in practice on Monday that he would discuss with Blatt before Tuesday’s game about which game he will sit out. Cleveland will be in Cincinnati to play the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, and this will be Cincy’s only live glimpse of James this season without traveling out of the city. My guess is that he sits out against Milwaukee.

That gives Matthew Dellavedova, who will be starting in Irving’s place, one less star to become more acclimated with. Delly will be handling more point guard duties this year, and getting starting experience with talented teammates in the pre-season will go a long way in setting the tone for building up the chemistry throughout the regular season. The Australian guard will have a peculiar matchup, however, with the Bucks starting the 6-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo. This matchup will definitely be something to look forward to Tuesday night at the Q.

Although fans may not get to see what they want to see — all three superstars on the court — it is more important that Irving, Love and James see time together during the regular season. Let these next two games be used to evaluate which two players should take the last two spots on the roster that are up for grabs. A couple pre-season games apart won’t hurt or delay the Cavs’ chemistry-building too much.