Pregame Dribbles: Do Cavs Have Secret Weapon for Another Win?
CLEVELAND -- Pregame dribbles as the Cavaliers prepare tip off Monday against the Brooklyn Nets.
1. Coach John Beilein doesn't wear a tie. He wore one last game. The Cavs snapped a six-game losing streak. Beilein is wearing a tie again tonight.
2. Kevin Love (back) is a game-time decision. Beilein made it sound as if Love will play. Guess we'll find out at tipoff.
3. Kyrie Irving, of course, is out. He has an injured shoulder. Former Cavs center Kendrick Perkins accused Irving of faking the injury to avoid playing at Boston on Wednesday. I wouldn't go that far -- but I did write a column about Kyrie. You can read it here.
4. Here is what Perkins tweeted: "Kyrie looked at the schedule before the season started and planned this whole injury thing because he didn’t want to go back to Boston this upcoming week!!! He didn’t want that smoke in the Bean Town. Smh."
5. The Nets have been darn good without Kyrie, who has already missed five games. The Nets lost just one. They are 4-7 with him (8-8 overall).
6. But let's not make this Kyrie Night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. He and the Nets deserve time together. Right? Right. We think. Onward and upward or something.
7. As for the Cavs (5-11), this is the second of a six-game homestand. They facve just one team with a winning record (Milwaukee, Friday) in that span. This is a chance for them to get the fans interested. Real interested.
8. Tristan Thompson matched his season-high with 25 points in Saturday's win over Portland. The Cavs will likely look to him again. He tends to play better at home, off the energy from the crowd.
9. In four games against the Nets last season, Jordan Clarkson averaged 22.5 points. There is something about seeing those black and white uniforms Clarkson likes. He is coming off a 28-point night vs. the Trail Blazers.
10. Darius Garland is averaging 11.9 points and 3.1 assists since Nov. 8 (nine games). The young guard is coming around.