CLEVELAND: Pregame notes prior to tonight's season opener against the Brooklyn Nets.
* Much like they did with the draft, the Cavaliers appear intent on keeping Andrew Bynum’s status for tonight a secret until they absolutely have to reveal it.
* News that the Cavs were drafting Anthony Bennett didn’t leak until minutes before the draft started. I wouldn’t expect to have a final decision on Bynum until lineups and actives/inactives are due, which is an hour before the game.
* Bynum has not been cleared to play yet, but coach Mike Brown stopped short of ruling him out during the morning shootaround. Despite requests to clarify his status, the Cavs haven’t provided an injury update as to whether Bynum is “out’ or “doubtful.” He is listed on the game notes as “TBD.”
* Bynum and general manager Chris Grant held a brief meeting after this morning’s shootaround and more meetings were expected with various facets of the medical staff throughout the day, so it could very well be that the decision hasn’t been made yet. Given the Cavs’ cautious approach to this point, if there is any doubt, I’d expect Bynum to sit tonight. But seeing how they haven’t yet given a status update, the possibility remains he could play.
* Something to consider, if he is able to play, is how to handle him. Does he start? Does he come off the bench? Obviously his minutes would be incredibly limited. Can he warm up, then sit for about 25 minutes before entering the game? These are all questions the Cavs are asking themselves this afternoon.
* Playing in tonight’s opener, even for 6-8 minutes, would be a nice reward after Bynum worked so hard all summer. He uprooted his entire life and moved here immediately after signing with the Cavs and has been at the facility daily ever since. Just getting him a little time on the court would be a tremendous lift for him, but the Cavs (understandably) are more concerned with the next 81 games rather than simply playing opening night.
* Bynum was on the practice floor this morning without any knee braces (it was only a shootaround) and working out with Vitaly Potapenko, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson. Not sure how he’ll play once he returns, but he looks terrific.
* So does Thompson’s shot, by the way. Thompson ended practice Tuesday making 3-pointer after 3-pointer. His right-handed release already looks polished and like he’s been shooting that way all his life. He has good arc and rotation on it, not like the side-spinning, left-handed shot from past years.
* The Nets will not be at full strength tonight. Andrei Kirilenko has been bothered by back spasms and won’t play, and Deron Williams only played about 10 minutes in the preseason because he has been hampered by a sprained ankle. He acknowledged to Nets writers yesterday that coming back against Kyrie Irving is a tough opener on a bad ankle.
* Jason Kidd will not be on the sideline for the Nets, either, since he will start serving his two-game suspension for a DWI. Lawrence Frank will coach the team in his place.