Cavaliers-Pacers pregame dribbles
Tipoff: Cintas Center, Xavier University, Cincinnati, 7 p.m. EST
TV: FOX Sports Ohio. Radio: WTAM 1100.
Pacers: C Roy Hibbert; PF David West; SF C.J. Miles; SG Rodney Stuckey; PG George Hill.
Cavaliers: C Tristan Thompson; PF Kevin Love; SF LeBron James; SG Dion Waiters; PG Matthew Dellavedova.
Pacers: Paul George (broken leg) out.
Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving (ankle) out; Anderson Varejao (rest) out. Thompson (shoulder) game-time decision; Moondog the Mascot (sick as a dog) out.
1. Cavs coach David Blatt said he will rest Varejao for the same reason LeBron rested Tuesday against the Bucks — for "general maintenance." In other words, the Cavs are trying to keep guys rested for when the real thing begins.
3. When it comes to how many minutes he’ll play vs. the Pacers, James said "probably in the low 20s."
2. This is a fantastic arena and should be the site of future preseason games. It sure beats U.S. Bank Arena across town, where the Cavs have played games the past few years. But LeBron has a way of making everything better — even in the preseason.
3. Blatt is wanting the Cavs to cool it from beyond the 3-point arc. They shot 34 on Tuesday vs. the Bucks. The coach said he’d prefer to see that number in the 20s.
4. As you may have noticed, Moondog is out sick. Interestingly, Pacers forward David West once punched Moondog in the nose. I can’t help but wonder if Cleveland’s favorite pup was actually too scared to show.
5. In what has to be an NBA first, the Pacers’ roster consists of three guys who go by the name "C.J." That would be backup point guard C.J. Watson, rookie C.J. Fair and Miles, who left the Cavs over the summer in free agency.
6. For those of you wondering if LeBron just started recruiting free agents to Cleveland, he says that is not so. "I recruited (last time)," he said, referring to his first stint with the Cavs from 2003-10. Among the recruits: Chris Bosh (Heat) and Joe Johnson (Nets). "I just didn’t win." James implied that his two championships with the Heat should improve his efforts to enlist free agents this time around.
7. LeBron also said he and other players around the league feel the NBA should shorten its season from its current 82-game schedule. He did not suggest another number, but talked a little about the 66-game slate of the lockout year of 2011.