Cleveland Cavaliers game previews between October 24 and October 30, including games against: New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors.
The Cavaliers will have a ring night for the first time in franchise history, as the Cavaliers receive the rings from their Championship campaign of a year ago. Emotions will be running high as the nostalgia of the triumphs of last June washes over the battle hardened crew. This will be the third ring night for LeBron James, but the first for many of his Cavalier teammates. The atmosphere will be electric as those in #CavsNation celebrate the hanging of the first championship banner of any sort since 1964.
New York Knicks
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
For the second time in the last three seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers open up against the New York Knicks. The Knicks come into the season trying to throw together all of the players the acquired in the offseason. They are also trying to work a new coach, Jeff Hornacek, and a modified version of the Triangle offense. Former league MVP Derrick Rose will headline the game along with swingman Carmelo Anthony, Latvian star Kristaps Porzingis, and Joakim Noah, former Defensive Player of the Year. The Cavaliers had no problems last year against the Knicks, winning all four matchups. LeBron James always seems to enjoy playing against his close friend Carmelo Anthony, and this head-to-head matchup is sure to bring fireworks to the court.
The Cavaliers come into the season fully healthy and ready to rock, something that could not have been said about the team last season. This team is coming in with an abundance of confidence and chemistry. They will be able to run their offense flawlessly while the Knicks struggle to communicate effectively. Watch for the Cavaliers be buoyed by the emotion of the night, the crowd, and the moment, and look for the Knicks to struggle to keep up with the Cavaliers Tuesday night.
Friday, 28 October 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Away
In a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers come back to Toronto to renew their rivalry with the North. The Raptors did not make any earth-shattering changes in the offseason. They resigned Demar Derozan to keep him in the fold, and coming into the season Demarre Carroll is healthy. This team does not seem to have enough perimeter shooting to keep up with the Cavaliers in a fast paced game — they rely on making inefficient jumpers and getting to the bucket, and this could prove to be difficult for them. One thing the Cavaliers could potentially have working against them is Kyle Lowry.
The Olympian point guard for the Raptors has regularly toasted Kyrie Irving on the offensive end of the floor. If Uncle Drew cannot contain the Raptors star point guard, the Cavs could be in for a long night. When the Raptors played the Cavs in the preseason, Lowry erupted against Irving in the second quarter, allowing the Raptors to build a huge lead going into halftime. The Raptors took the Cavs to the final part of the season in a fight for the number one seed in the East, so look for the Raptors to push the Cavaliers hard when they meet Saturday.
Saturday, 29 October 2016 at 07:30 PM ET Home
The Cavaliers have been able to have their way with the Orlando Magic over the last two years. The Cavaliers, Kevin Love, in particular, enjoyed seeing the Orlando Magic in Cleveland last year. Earlier in the preseason, the Cavs opened up with a dominant showing, moving the ball beautifully, finding the open man, and hitting again and again from deep in the Q.
The Orlando Magic come in after trading Victor Oladipo for Serge Ibaka. They also signed Bismack Biyombo to a large free agent deal. This team, now coached by Frank Vogel, has the potential to be a good defensive team, but the offensive end of the floor could be a struggle at times. Jeff Green is a career journeyman, Evan Fournier has to prove that he can be the focal point of the offense on the wing, and Nikola Vucevic will be the scoring punch down low.
This team will struggle with the Cavaliers, the offensive system the Cavaliers employ will be too much for the Magic to deal with at times, and these moments when the Cavaliers are raining down shots will be the difference in the game.
What to Watch For
The Second Unit: Look to see how Coach Lue uses the second unit. The latest speculation is that he will use Kevin Love as the ball dominant player with the second unit, more of how Love was used in Minnesota, and this will allow Love to roam the floor, getting post ups, open shots off of the pick-and-pop, and threes off of dribble penetration. Love’s presence with the second unit will draw more attention to him by the defense and will allow his teammates to have better looks offensively.
Keep this Good Thing Going:The Cavaliers have been on a role offensively since the Finals. Having a full offseason of healthy players have allowed the Cavaliers to develop a level of chemistry that is something they haven’t had going into the season since James came back.
Kill Em’ with Confidence: The Cavaliers have been to the mountaintop; they have won an NBA championship, and are now validated. Many of the players come into the season with a swagger, a confidence that is new. Look for this confidence to manifest itself on the floor as players like Irving and Love have finally found themselves on the floor, and having found themselves, look for them to have their best seasons as a Cavalier.