Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 things to watch for in preseason opener

Cleveland Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers players Darius Garland (from left), Donovan Mitchell, Ty Jerome and Max Strus pose for a photo. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

No. 3: Do new shooters open up the offense?

The Cavaliers did not shake up their four-man core, but they made some major additions to give the rotation shooting around those stars. Max Strus is a true movement shooter and was a key part of the Miami Heat’s run to the NBA Finals last season. Georges Niang is one of the league’s most willing shooters from the power forward position. Ty Jerome has a long history of hitting big shots and developed in a high-octane setting with the Golden State Warriors last season.

How do those additions open up the offense in Cleveland? The Cavs were strangled by a lack of spacing against the New York Knicks in the playoffs last season; swapping Max Strus in for Isaac Okoro should flip that weakness into a strength. How does that affect the Cavs’ actions?

The two-man game of Evan Mobley and Strus will be something to watch, as Max was best deployed in dribble-handoff actions. When players like Strus, Jerome and Niang are on the court, does Donovan Mitchell have the space to knife through the paint? How does the pick-and-roll game with Darius Garland and a big take off without four bodies in the paint?

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The final score of a preseason game doesn’t ultimately matter, but there is plenty of information to be gleaned by the Cavaliers getting onto the court in an actual game. That information could be a glimpse into how the season will go for the Cavs.