Cavaliers (2-5) at Nets (3-2) – Game #8


In the NBA, we have a tendency to overrate some of the game’s biggest stars. That may be what the Brooklyn Nets have done with Deron Williams.

Now, make no mistake, Williams is an All-Star. He can win games for you from the point guard position. But he’s probably not a No. 1 option, even if the Nets try to promote him as such. Or more accurately, he’s probably not a No. 1 option on a really good team.

Williams probably knows that — which is why he seemed to spend his time dreaming of playing with Dwight Howard. But Howard was traded from the Magic to the Lakers, and the Nets instead landed shooting guard Joe Johnson.

Johnson is a nice player, and a lot like Williams. Johnson’s probably best suited for a role as a No. 2 guy. Same goes for Nets center Brook Lopez. And nothing wrong with a team of No. 2 options. A lot of general managers would kill for that.

But are the Nets truly contenders? Are they even more than a team that can get out of the first round of the playoffs? Or is all of this just hype from the newest team in the league’s largest market?

It’s often hard to tell in the NBA, where the importance of marketing (and it is indeed important) sometimes clouds reality.

Williams and the Nets are dangerous, that much we know. But whether or not they have a true top option to lead them to really good things … well, that’s what we still don’t seem to know.


Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.


7:30 p.m. EST


FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 7 p.m.)


Cleveland – WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 7 p.m.)



C – Anderson Varejao; PF – Tristan Thompson; SF – Alonzo Gee; SG – Dion Waiters; PG – Kyrie Irving. Coach: Byron Scott.


C – Brooke Lopez; PF – Kris Humphries; SF – Joe Johnson; SG – Keith Bogans; PG – Deron Williams. Coach: Avery Johnson.


Backup center Tyler Zeller (fractured cheekbone) remains out for the Cavs. … The Cavs are allowing just 7.7 second-chance points for opponents. That’s best in the NBA. … The Cavs are forcing 18.1 turnovers per game. That’s second-best in the NBA. … Nets small forward Gerald Wallace (sprained ankle) returned to practice Monday, but is doubtful for tonight. … Nets backup guard MarShon Brooks (also ankle) is out. … The Cavs lead the all-time series, 87-67, and have won 11 of the last 15. That includes a 6-2 mark as the road team. … But this ain’t Jersey.

Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO