Cavs Report: Adjustments name of game as season looms
OCT 22, 2013 9:39p ET
The biggest decision remains who starts at small forward. But actually, that's not necessarily the biggest decision of the moment. Cavs coach Mike Brown said just because a guy starts on opening day -- whether it be Alonzo Gee or Earl Clark -- it doesn't mean that individual will own the job for the entire year. Or even on Day Two.
So perhaps more pressing is who actually makes the team (unless you count when center Andrew Bynum will play, but there's no update in that department).
Anyway, it appears the four main candidates for the final two spots on the roster go like this (in no particular order): point guard Matthew Dellavedova, shooting guard Jermaine Taylor, center Henry Sims and forward/center Kenny Kadji.
While no one is saying it, it seems as if Dellavedova has secured his spot. He's garnered a lot of minutes in the preseason, partially because of the injury to Jarrett Jack. Also, Brown is clearly a Dellavedova fan. Plus, most teams need and carry three point guards -- and aside from Kyrie Irving and Jack, the undrafted rookie out of St. Mary's (Calif.) via Australia is all the Cavs have.
If Dellavedova stays, it's highly likely Taylor goes. Taylor has NBA ability, no question. But he may fall victim to a numbers game, as Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles and first-round draft pick Sergey Karasev are all capable shooting guards. Jack and Irving can play there, too.
As for the frontcourt, it looks as if Sims is ahead of Kadji on the depth chart. Sims has started one preseason game and Kadji didn't play in Tuesday's win over Philadelphia. All of that could mean absolutely nothing ... but it could mean something, too.
Regardless, we've probably already spent too much time talking about guys who will be sitting at the end of the bench, or even more likely, showcasing their skills with the Cavs' NBA D-League affiliate in Canton.
But they can be important, because we all know injuries happen, like, almost daily. The men in deep reserve also play a vital role in practice.
So there you have it: A quick look at the Cavs as they enter their final two preseason games --Wednesday in Cincinnati vs. the Washington Wizards, and Thursday at Charlotte vs. the Bobcats.
The answers they are seeking are likely to come a short time after that.
Different, but the same
Anderson Varejao is the only member of the roster to have played under Brown during Brown's first stint in Cleveland (2005-10). Varejao played each of those five years, one of which included a trip to the Finals (2007).
Today, the Cavs' veteran center feels as if that previous stint served him well.
"To me he's the same," Varejao said. "He may have more confidence right now as a coach, which is normal. But to me, he's the same guy."
Varejao said practice is structured the same and that he sometimes knows what Brown will say before finishing a sentence.
"That's good," Varejao said, smiling. "That way I know what to do every time. If I don't do it, it's on me -- maybe because my effort wasn't there, or I had to help somewhere else."
Best of all, Varejao can act much like a coach on the floor with some of the younger guys. Actually, make that all the guys, since none are as familiar with their coach as Varejao.
"I've been trying to (help my teammates)," Varejao said. "I know what to do now. I just try to give them some help on what to do the next time if they mess up."
• The Cavs practiced at Xavier University on Tuesday, right before the always-competitive Musketeers took the floor. The Cavs will hold their shootaround (or if it's up to Brown, perhaps a full practice) at U.S. Bank Arena, the site of Wednesday's game.
• It may only be preseason, but Wednesday's game could draw a decent crowd. Wizards point guard John Wall hails from the University of Kentucky, just a little more than an hour's drive from Cincinnati. The Wizards selected Wall with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010, one year before the Cavs did the same with Irving.
• No official update has been provided on Karasev, who sprained his ankle Tuesday vs. the 76ers. Karasev was dressed in sweats after practice, walking normally without any noticeable limp.
• Wednesday's game will be televised by FOX Sports Ohio. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.