As the Cavaliers gear up for their final two preseason games before the October 27th opener, head coach Byron Scott is apparently getting closer to ironing out a starting lineup as well as his key bench players.
With Anderson Varejao looking to be recovered from his offseason ankle injury as well as the recent death of his grandfather, the Brazilian big man will get his first start under his new head coach this Tuesday as the Cavaliers head to Cincinnati to face the Philadelphia 76ers. Along with Andy, the Cavs’ starting lineup will feature JJ Hickson, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker and Ramon Sessions.
Save for Sessions (who will likely come off of the bench once Mo Williams is healthy), the group listed above appears to be the starting squad for your 2010-11 Cavaliers – at least as it stands in late October. There were questions about nearly every spot on the starting five as Daniel Gibson, Joey Graham and Antawn Jamison also figure into key roles for the team. Scott made it clear on Monday afternoon that the veteran Parker has won the starting shooting guard job and Jamario Moon is the current “leader” at the small forward role.
As we surmised over the summer, Antawn Jamison – though likely counted on as a key contributor – will likely be the sixth man as he can play either forward spot. Though Scott has said that the “better man will start,” he also insinuated that he will be speaking to the veteran Jamison about a reserve role. As we noted last week, Hickson’s play in the preseason has provided Scott with the type of youth movement that a rebuilding (reloading?) team needs.
Hickson and Varejao can both play power forward and center, and Ryan Hollinswill also spell bothmen in the paint allowing Scott to use several different lineups. As we have seen through the preseason, Gibson is also in line for considerable minutes this season, providing Byron Scott with at least nine men in his nightly rotation.
Williams, continuing his rehabilitation from an early-preseason groin injury, appears on track to be ready for next week’s game against the Boston Celtics, though the injury may just not allow him to reenact his dunk on Paul Pierce. In the event that he cannot go, Sessions will get the bulk of the minutes at point guard. The current Cavaliers roster stands at 16 players with the final roster cut to be made by this time next week.
(Scott Shaw / The Plain Dealer)