PROVIDENCE - Quick learning curve regarding this beat. Not a lot happens during the preseason.
In a nutshell: don’t expect to see a lot of the LeBron – again. And any Cavs fan should get that. But you have to question the wisdom of marketing this exhibition contest based on his cameo as I saw today on a local Providence television station.
Game: Cavaliers (0-1) vs. Boston Celtics (0-1)
Broadcast: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); LeBron James (F); Wally Szczerbiak (G); Ben Wallace (F) and Mo Williams (G).
Celtics: Ray Allen (G); Kevin Garnett (F); Patrick O’Bryant (C); Paul Pierce (F); Rajon Rondo (G).
What to watch: Wally Szczerbiak will start at the two gaard tonight as Coach Mike Brown tries to work out who he plans to start in that position. Sasha Pavlovic – who didn’t travel to Rhode Island with the team – started against the Raptors. In the past, Brown has said that it’s not necessarily important who starts in that position. Look for how the Cavs first round draft pick, JJ Hickson continues to develop.
In the locker room: “I don’t let stuff like that hang over my head. We had an opportunity to win and we didn’t. I thought about it a little bit, but I had to get ready for the Olympics, so I really didn’t dwell on it too much.” – LeBron James on losing to the Celtics in the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals last spring.
When asked about the Celtics ring ceremony, which will be against the Cavs on opening night, James said. “It won’t bother me. See if I’m out there or not when they receive their rings. We’ll see what happens.”
When asked about whether it will motivate him to see the Celtics get a ring, James said he didn’t need another team’s ring ceremony to motivate him.
From the coach's office: Mike Brown said the Cavs will continue to take the Delonte West situation one game at a time.
Post game analysis:
The Cavs lose: 96-94. Just as anyone might expect in the preseason, this was a tale of two games. By the way don't believe the quotes you'll see in stories from the Cavs saying this was game of little consequence. The first team showed some serious intensity in their limited minutes. LeBron James scored 15 in just a little over 13 minutes of play. The team's two rookies showed some flashes to me. I am shocked by the toughness of J.J. Hickson, who in uniform looks slight but holds his own with fellow big men. The highlight of the night: him going nose-to-nose with Glen "Big Baby" Davis, a guy with almost 50 pounds on him. Davis drew the foul, but he also ended up on his backside courtesy of Hickson's defense.
A key question in training camp: Who will start at that two guard spot? Sasha Pavlovic got the start Tuesday against the Raptors and looked like...well...Sasha Pavlovic. Wally Szczerbiak opened against the Celtics tonight and scored 13.
The first team overall put up 37 in the first quarter, but allowed 28, losing their defensive focus.
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on the game: "t was a great show for the people of Providence,’’ Coach Mike Brown said. ‘’They got their money’s worth. I think Doc (Rivers) and I would have had different teams on the floor had it been a different ball game."
On the team's defense: ‘’We scored a lot of points (in the first quarter), but I didn’t see a lot of intensity on the defensive end of the floor.’’