Cavs Report: Lineup shuffle continues
CLEVELAND — When Byron Scott starts two rookies, it's obvious the Cavaliers are serious in referring to their philosophy as “a process.”
It might be a process that’s in progress all season, too.
In Tuesday’s 100-82 preseason loss against visiting Indiana, Scott started Dion Waiters (No. 4 overall draft pick) at shooting guard and Tyler Zeller (No. 17 overall) at center. Also in the starting lineup were second-year point guard Kyrie Irving, third-year small forward Alonzo Gee and veteran big man Anderson Varejao.
Despite the changes, there’s no guarantee Scott will use that lineup when the regular season opens Oct. 30. The coach claims he isn't sure what might develop.
Odds are that Scott already has a pretty good idea. But he’s not about to tell anyone what it entails, and that includes his players.
“I’ll know in the next few days,” Scott said of the opening-night starters. “The players won’t know until (Oct. 28 or 29)."
Tuesday marked Scott’s third lineup change in the seven-game preseason. Previously, he tinkered with starting C.J. Miles at shooting guard and small forward, and bringing Waiters and Gee off the bench. Also, until Tuesday, Tristan Thompson started every game at power forward, with Varejao at center.
While Thompson may not be a permanent (or even temporary) fixture off the bench, Scott said he will seek some sort of firepower in reserve this year.
“I don’t want to be top heavy with our starters, and then our bench not as strong,” Scott said. “I’m most comfortable when I look down the bench and see guys that can get the job done.”
• Scott said the pro game seems to be slowing down a little for Zeller — which is exactly the way the coach wants it. “It’s close to 100 (mph),” Scott said. “It was about 150, close to 200 when we started the preseason. It will be nice to get it to 55.”
• Cavs guard Daniel Gibson missed Tuesday's game with a mild concussion. He is expected to practice Wednesday.
• The Cavs still must release two players before the season opens. The moves could come as soon as Wednesday. The best guess: Forward Kevin Jones and guard Jeremy Pargo. But again, that's just a wild, wild guess.
• The Cavs finished the preseason at 3-4. They open the regular season next Tuesday vs. Washington at The Q.
• At least Steve Nash has a sense of humor about the Lakers’ 0-6
preseason. Nash and Dwight Howard are the cover boys for Sports
Illustrated’s NBA preview issue, due out this week. “Proud to share the
SI cover with Dwight Howard,” Nash posted on his Twitter account. “In
related news: We're 0-6 this preseason.”
• Orlando Magic senior VP and co-founder Pat Williams has a new book
out, entitled “NBA List Jam!” It includes lists written by former Cavs
point guard Mark Price, former Cavs coach Bill Fitch and current Plain
Dealer sports columnist Terry Pluto. For more on the book, check out my
• Pacers coach Frank Vogel is a man of many talents. Long before leading an NBA team, he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, taking part in the Stupid Human Tricks segment. Vogel’s routine: Spinning a basketball on the end of a toothbrush while brushing his teeth. He was 10 years old at the time.
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