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Bucks at Cavs: pregame notes

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 8, 2013

* Mike Brown will coach a game inside the Q tonight for the first time since the infamous Game 5 meltdown at home against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2010. 

* Brown has been inside the Q for other things, but never as an NBA coach during the last three years. The Lakers didn't play here during his first season in Los Angeles because of the lockout, then he was fired last season a month before the Lakers returned here.

* This is a vastly different team, obviously, than the one he left. He has spent the first week of camp installing his defense, but the Cavs were so awful defensively last season it's doubtful he'll get it to the standard he expects at any point this season. 

* Still, the Cavs should be one of the league's most exciting young teams this season. "To me Cleveland has the best young talented team in the league," NBA analyst Chris Webber said today on a conference call.

* The most glaring hole remains at small forward, which will rotate between Earl Clark, Alonzo Gee and C.J. Miles for now. Clark is expected to eventually claim the starting role, but all three players have flaws. Miles provides the best offensive option, but might be best served in a reserve role for his scoring punch. Clark and Gee are both limited offensively and Brown indicated Monday that will be a defensive-geared position for now. The only problem is how many explosive scoring small forwards there are around the league. The Cavs will have to find points elsewhere.

* Top pick Anthony Bennett looked exhausted four minutes into Saturday's team scrimmage. He concedes his conditioning isn't where he wants it because of offseason shoulder surgery, but the Cavs are adamant they aren't concerned with Bennett -- and his explosive, flat-footed dunk over Tristan Thompson in the scrimmage is proof why.

* One Cavs executive said he expects Bennett to be a "beast," but right now there is a lot of information getting thrown at him. Bennett didn't do much at UNLV in terms of defense or conditioning, so this is all new to him.

* The Bucks were the eighth seed in the East last season and overhauled nearly their entire roster, yet they probably still don't have enough to return to the playoffs. They'll debut a new starting backcourt tonight in Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo. Something needed to change after the failed experiment of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis paired together. They were an explosive scoring duo that couldn't defend.


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