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Cavs (1-0) vs. Bobcats (0-1); pregame notes

By Jason Lloyd Published: November 1, 2013
Clifford, Steve
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford is a former assistant under Mike Brown. There were rumors over the summer he could be joining Brown's staff before the Bobcats offered him his first head coaching job. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

CHARLOTTE, N.C.: News and notes prior to tonight's home opener for the Bobcats...

* A decision on Andrew Bynum's availability tonight won't be determined until close to tip-off, and coach Mike Brown said this morning could be an ongoing theme throughout the season. The Cavs may not know until an hour or so before every game whether or not Bynum will play.

* "This will be probably a daily thing for us and a lot of times we may not make the decision until an hour before," Brown said. "At any time if he experiences any discomfort or we think he’s not moving as well as he should, I just won’t activate him. So for me to make the commitment prior to that time period will be tough."

* The Cavs have maintained since signing him they were going to be cautious with Bynum all season. This is what they meant. Just because he's playing doesn't mean he'll always be playing. It would seem unlikely he will play in both games this weekend (the Cavs are at Indiana on Saturday), but Brown said no decision has been made on whether he'll play in back-to-backs. Again, it will be a game-by-game basis.

* That said, Brown reiterated that the goal is to get Bynum into the starting lineup. "He's a starting center," Brown said. "If we can get him there, great. But I'm not in any rush to do that."

* Late word out of Bobcats shootaround is that Al Jefferson will be a game-time decision tonight. Jefferson missed the bulk of preseason with a severely sprained right ankle, but played in the Bobcats' opener on Wednesday. Now he's hurting and limping again.

* The Cavs and Bobcats are already pretty familiar with each other, since this marks the third game between the teams in two weeks (the Cleveland traveling writers' name plates are still up in the work room from the preseason game here last week). The Bobcats took both preseason games, but that hardly has any credibility. As Brown quickly pointed out this morning, the Cavs' second unit during the preseason consisted of Matthew Dellavedova, Henry Sims, Kenny Kadji and Jermaine Taylor. Two of those guys didn't make the team and the other two (Dellavedova and Sims) aren't expected to play tonight if the game is within 20 points.

* I asked Kyrie Irving this morning if it was my imagination or if the Nets ran a lot more double teams at him Wednesday night than what he's accustomed to seeing. Irving agreed and said he expects to see more of that this season. Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long. 

* Brown said the double teams makes it critical the Cavs keep the floor spaced properly on offense. That has been a problem throughout the preseason and was again in the opener. "He’s not always going to be able to beat teams off the dribble, so we have to make sure our floor is spaced correctly and we know exactly where our outlets are," Brown said. "Then once that ball gets moved, we’re able to take advantage of our opponents’ defense. It’s going to be an adjustment period for all of us going forward. He’s that talented, he’s that good to where he can command a double team, especially late in ball games."

* Speaking of Irving, he clearly has put a lot of thought into this "Uncle Drew" series. He said he picked Nate Robinson for the part, but Pepsi Max came up with the idea of adding Maya Moore. But no, Moore is not part of the "team," she is simply the protective sister to "Lights" (the name of Robinson's character). 

* "She's not part of the team. It's impossible. We didn't play high school together. It's impossible," Irving said. "Females were not playing when Uncle Drew back then was coming out."

* Irving said he originally wanted Moore to play Robinson's wife, but settled on protective sister. "It made it too uncomfortable for them," he said. 

* Bobcats coach Steve Clifford is a former assistant under Brown. There were thoughts over the summer that Clifford could join Brown's staff in Cleveland, but then he landed the Charlotte job. 

* During the preseason game here last week, Clifford called out a play. Brown shouted down to him, "Hey, I wonder what that means?" and both guys cracked up. Obviously at least some of the terminology the Bobcats are using is what Brown used last season with the Lakers. 

* Brown said the two men chatted briefly prior to the preseason game in Canton. "He’s a good guy. if I can help him in any way, I’d love to do that," Brown said. "I want to kick his ass, but other than that, I want him to have success, as long as it’s below us."

* Something to watch tonight: How Dion Waiters defends Gerald Henderson. Brown was disappointed with the way Henderson beat Waiters in the two preseason games, particularly the game in Canton when Henderson took Waiters into the post and beat him easily on a couple of spin moves. Waiters' defense has been inconsistent thus far, although he did a great job of defending the larger Joe Johnson on a critical possession late in Wednesday's game. Waiters went chest-to-chest on Johnson and prevented him from getting a shot up. Brown wants to see that type of intensity on every possession.

* Waiters has always appeared to me to be a decent on-ball defender. It's when his man doesn't have the ball when problems arise. Just my theory. 

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