Pregame Dribbles: Cavaliers All Set Up For 'Schedule' Win
CLEVELAND -- Pregame dribbles as the Cavaliers get set to take on the Washington Wizards (7 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio).
1. Well, it has to be better than that nightmare the other night against New York, right? Right. We think.
2. The Wizards are coming off an overtime loss at Miami. They arrived in Cleveland at 3 in the morning. The Cavs had the night off. So if everything has ever been set up for the Cavs to win, this is it.
3. But with these Cavs, you just never can be too sure. One thing they will want to do is come out firing, because the Wizards are 26th in the league in overall defense. With Collin Sexton leading the way, that's rarely a problem.
4. Interestingly, Washington's "defensive coordinator" is none other than assistant coach Mike Longabardi, who was in charge of the Cavs' defense last season. It was historically bad.
5. The Wizards' head coach is Scott Brooks. He played 43 game for the Cavaliers in his final season as a pro (1997-98). His roommate in Cleveland was former center and fan favorite Zydrunas Ilguaskas. Brooks smiled when reliving his Cavs days. "I had bigger muscles back then," he said. He added that one of his other main memories was Ilguaskas was a lousy driver.
6. Former Cavs big man Drew Gooden and point/shooting guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson are also in town as the franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary. Gooden came from Orlando in a trade made by former Cavs GM Jim Paxson. Also arriving from the Magic in that deal -- Anderson Varejao.
7. Gooden, Gibson and Varejao were members of the first Cavs team to reach the Finals (2007). That was during the first LeBron James era, when the Cavs were swept by San Antonio.
8. Ah, yes. The good ol' days.
9. As for the here and now, the biggest thing the Cavs have to look forward to is the trade deadline. It's not exactly two weeks from today. Until then, it's just continue to develop the young players (Sexton, Darius Garland, etc.) and treat each game like a practice for the future.
10. In other news, LeBron and Kyrie Irving square off in Brooklyn tonight, as the Lakers and Nets tip off at 8 p.m. I sometimes wonder what would happen had they both stayed in Cleveland. It's not like they'd have to worry about the Warriors this season.