Found October 29, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
One franchise point guard hopes to begin his quest to lead a team out of the NBA doldrums Tuesday night, while another will have to wait a couple more weeks. John Wall won't be able to go for the Washington Wizards in this season opener in Cleveland, but the Cavaliers are hoping to have Kyrie Irving available less than a week after the reigning rookie of the year had four wisdom teeth removed. "It depends on whether the doctors clear me or not," Irving said after practicing on Sunday. "I'm feeling good right now and we'll just see going into game time." Irving, who averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds a year ago, was Cleveland's highest-scoring point guard since Terrell Brandon averaged 19.5 points in 1996-97. He's become the new face of a franchise that has gone 40-108 since LeBron James left for Miami. Still, Irving believes the Cavs are ready to compete despite finishing 21-45 a year ago - last in the Central Division and one game better than the Wizards. "If we come to play every single night, I feel like we can play with the best of them on both ends of the floor," said Irving, who lost about five pounds after having the teeth extracted. "Whether anybody else believes that, it doesn't matter. It only matters what the Cavaliers organization believes. I believe we are a playoff team." Wall, the No. 1 overall pick a year before Irving, was assuming a similar leadership role with the Wizards, but he's expected to miss the first month of the regular season with a knee injury. Washington will use A.J. Price and Jannero Pargo at the point for the opening month after cutting Shelvin Mack on Sunday. Price started six of the team's eight preseason games at the point, averaging 9.6 points. "Three guys have been fighting for that position, so we've been working hard every day and pushing each other," Price said. "The coaches have been telling me to keep playing my game. I've been trying to bring energy and keep the team together." Wall isn't the only prominent Wizard who won't suit up Tuesday. Nene, whom Washington acquired at last season's trade deadline in a three-way deal that sent JaVale McGee to Denver, is currently battling plantar fasciitis and it's unclear when he'll be ready to play. That means the Wizards' starting frontcourt will likely feature new additions Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor along with second-year forward Trevor Booker. Third overall pick Bradley Beal, who averaged 11.3 points in the preseason, is expected to share time at shooting guard with Jordan Crawford, who poured in 49 points in two games against the Cavs a year ago. Cleveland was already one of the league's youngest teams before second-leading scorer Antawn Jamison left for the Lakers, and it added a pair of high-profile rookies in the draft in Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller. The Cavaliers reportedly had their eyes on Beal but settled for Waiters at No. 4 before trading three picks for Zeller, Dallas' selection at No. 17. Waiters started four of the team's seven preseason games, but shot just 34.4 percent from the field. Zeller averaged 8.4 points and 4.7 boards while coming off the bench in all but one game. New acquisition C.J. Miles, who averaged 11.9 points in the preseason after spending his first seven years in Utah, should also see plenty of playing time. The Cavs, who ranked 29th in the NBA in field-goal percentage (42.2) last season, are looking for a step forward from second-year big man Tristan Thompson. The No. 4 pick in the 2011 draft averaged 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds last season. The Wizards took two of three from the Cavaliers a year ago, including a 96-85 victory April 25 in their only trip to Quicken Loans Arena. Irving played only 10 minutes of that contest and sat out one of the other two meetings. Cleveland center Anderson Varejao, who missed the final 41 games last season with a fractured wrist, has missed the team's last six games versus Washington.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Box Score: Wizards 84 Cavaliers 94

It was less than a year ago when Kyrie Irving made his forgettable Cavalier debut. Tonight, we saw what a difference experience and confidence made for Kyrie as the Cavaliers survived a Wizards 4th quarter run to come away with a big opening night win. Dion Waiters had a stellar debut, making Cavs fans forget about most of their preseason worries. Waiters finished with 17 points...

WFNY chimes in with Cavaliers season predictions

With the season starting tonight, the WFNY gang answered some questions about the upcoming 82 games. We also asked Jack @WayneEmbrysKids to participate with us. Because he’s one of the cool kids on the twitters. 1. What will be the Cavaliers’ Win-loss record? How much does it mean in the scheme of things? SCOTT: I’ve gone on record with my forecast of 27-55, which should slot...

Varejao grabs 23 rebounds in victory

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 23 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season with a 94-84 victory over the short-handed Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in the first game on the NBA schedule. Rookie Dion Waiters added 17 points for the Cavs, who led by 16 in the third quarter but needed big plays from Irving and Varejao in the final...

Win Cavaliers opening night tickets

The season tips off tomorrow, and WFNY wants to send a lucky reader there. We have a pair of tickets for the game in section 204, row 7. We will use Flashseasts to transfer the tickets. If you don’t have a Flashseats account, you can easily still sign up for one. To enter, simply leave a comment in this post answering the following question- Aside from Kyrie Irving, which Cavalier...

Irving's 29 leads Cavs over Wizards in opener

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 23 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season with a 94-84 victory over the short-handed Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in the first game on the NBA schedule. Rookie Dion Waiters added 17 points for the Cavs, who led by 16 in the third quarter but needed big plays from Irving and...

Cavs to open season as scheduled

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers say their season opener against Washington will be played as scheduled. Team spokesman Tad Carper said the NBA team has been in contact Tuesday with city officials. The team is closely monitoring weather conditions and has contingency plans in place in case things change. Like so many other cities, Cleveland was slammed by rain and high winds...

Cavs owner Gilbert regrets title guarantee

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert now wishes he wouldn't have guaranteed his team would win an NBA title before LeBron James. When James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010, Gilbert famously promised in a letter to disappointed Cleveland fans that his Cavs would win a championship before James got one with the Heat. Well, that ended in June when...

Sounds simple, but Cavs gotta compete

If the Cavaliers dont contend for a playoff spot, Im worried they might disappear from Cleveland. No, not from the city itself -- but from the psyche of Northeast Ohio sports fans. In the sports pecking order, the Cavs are already fourth in the minds of Clevelanders, trailing the Browns, Buckeyes and Indians. At best, the Cavs are tied for third with the Indians. But the Tribe...

Cavs owner regrets guaranteeing title

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wishes he could take back that guarantee about winning an NBA title before LeBron James. When James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010, Gilbert famously predicted in a letter to fans that his Cavs would win a championship before James got one with the Heat. Well, that ended in June when James led Miami to a finals...

WFNY Podcast – 2012-10-30 – Martin Rickman from SBNation and Scott previews Cavs

Last night I got a chance to talk to Cleveland resident, SBNation writer and twitter staple Martin Rickman. (@martinrickman) It was a fascinating conversation about being a blogger or post-blogger, parody Twitter accounts and being a “real person” online. Don’t tune out too quickly because I also tacked on a Cavaliers preview with Scott. Some of the audio quality is a bit hit...

Waiters Making First Start Since High School

Dion Waiters (left): "Screw College, when I make the big leagues, I'll be starting on opening day." Scoop Jardine: "Good one bud." Scoop better believe it. According to Rick Noland of the Chronicle Telegram, Dion Waiters will be in the Cavaliers starting line-up in the Cleveland Cavaliers season opener tonight against Washington, giving Waiters...

Cavaliers 94, Wizards 84

CLEVELAND – There might come a day when the Cavaliers deal center Anderson Varejao. However, whenever they think about trading him, they should pop in a videotape of him from the Cavs' 94-84 victory over the Washington Wizards in the season opener Tuesday for both teams. The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Varejao established career highs in rebounds (23) and assists (nine), as he...

Six Questions From Opening Night

Are the Lakers in trouble? Jacob Noble No, the Lakers are not in trouble.  They will make the playoffs but their playoff success is in question with the fact, they have not won a single game in 11 tries.  Even great teams who are trying to get comfortable with each other will win an ugly game or two.  Mike Brown is the one in trouble in this situation.  He appears...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.