One cagey veteran being flanked by four young guns. With the Clevland Cavaliers playing host to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, both teams tipping off their 2012-13 season, Wine and Gold head coach Byron Scott has opted to start Anderson Varejao at the center spot with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson filling out the guard and forward slots.
There had been some thinking that free agent addition CJ Miles would be in the starting lineup, either at the expense of Waiters — who has not started since high school — or Gee, but Scott stated on Monday that the team will opt to use his scoring prowess off of the bench, similar to the role filled by Gee a season ago.
The rest of the bench will include forwards Omri Casspi, Luke Harangody, Luke Walton, John Leuer and Samardo Samuels; guards Jeremy Pargo, Daniel Gibson and Donald Sloan; and center Tyler Zeller.
There have been rumblings of a long-term plan that allows the 30-year-old Varejao to retain his old role of reserve post presence, allowing the rookie Zeller to start in the post, but on opening night, the one affectionately known as Wild Thing will back, fully healthy, helping his young teammates continue to grow.
[Related: Some Thoughts on the NBA on the Eve of Season Tip-Off]