Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/11/12
OPENING TIP Games like these are almost a guaranteed loss. The Cavaliers won at Oklahoma City last season, the Thunder are defending Western Conference champions, and they already lost to an East team (Atlanta) at home this year. So, what do the Cavs have to play for? Well, you still have to approach each game its winnable. And with the young Cavs, it probably is. At least, it is if Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao stay healthy, and Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson keep doing their thing defensively. But more than that, this game is another step in the growing process -- as the Cavs face the team that every small-market franchise wants to become. The Thunder are mostly young, fun, highly talented and operate as a fairly cohesive unit. They built mostly through the draft, using a combination of being lucky and good on their way to landing the likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden (since traded) and Jeff Green (traded before that). The Cavs are in the early stages of what they hope will be a similar process of using the draft and trades (as opposed to free agency) to land players who not only want to succeed in a smaller market, but be willing to stay through the beginning rough stages. Thats not an easy thing to do. But the Thunder give hope to everyone whos looked at as irrelevant. All you need to do is build the right way and strike gold in the draft. On Sunday, the Cavs get a close-up look at the results. VENUE Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla. TIP-OFF 7 p.m. EST TELEVISION FOX Sports Ohio HD (Cavaliers Live pre-game show begins at 68:30 p.m.) RADIO Cleveland - WTAM-1100 AM (broadcast begins at 10 p.m.) PROBABLE STARTERS Cavs C Anderson Varejao; PF Tristan Thompson; SF Alonzo Gee; SG Dion Waiters; PG Kyrie Irving. Coach: Byron Scott. Thunder C Kendrick Perkins; PF Serge Ibaka; SF Kevin Durant; SG Thabo Sefolosha; PG Russell Westbrook. Coach: Scott Brooks. NOTABLE Backup center Tyler Zeller (fractured cheekbone) remains out for the Cavs. The Thunder spent time studying game film of the Cavs on Saturday, and came away impressed with the Cavs pick-and-roll game. "It kind of had me scared today in the film room the way the coaches were, Perkins told the Oklahoman. I thought we were playing the damn Dream Team." New Thunder acquisition Kevin Martin, a product of Zansville (Ohio) High, is averaging 18 ppg off the bench. ... The Cavs trail the all-time series, 58-41, dating back to when the Thunder were the Seattle SuperSonics. This is the fifth of a six-game road trip for the Cavs. It concludes Tuesday in Brooklyn. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire after 2017 season

Watson warns teams against picking Mitchell over him

Bonds to have street named after him in San Francisco

Report: Blount, Giants have 'mutual interest'

Adrian Peterson confirms he will sign with Saints

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The Warriors just trucked the Blazers with 8 threes, 45 points in the first quarter

Serena Williams fires back at Ilie Nastase’s racist comment about her child

Magic Johnson will represent the Lakers at NBA Draft Lottery

Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes suspended, fined for throwing at Manny Machado

Jerry Jones happy Tony Romo isn’t playing for another NFL team

George told teammates he has dreamed of playing for Lakers?

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/25: 'So long, sleeves'

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

20 of the best NFL Draft red carpet looks

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Most inspirational sports movies, series and docs available for streaming

NBA Weekend Awards: Who takes home the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy?

Where it went wrong: Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 exits

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker