Wizards, Cavs Tip Off NBA Season

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Well, it might not be Heat-Celtics, Lakers-Mavericks or feature any of the marquee individual matchups that signal the start of something huge, but the official start of the 2012-13 NBA season only happens once.

And that’s tonight in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers host the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. ET in the real opener (the TNT doubleheader between the aforementioned blood rivals doesn’t kick off until 8 p.m. ET). So for at least the first hour of this season, all eyes will be on Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving and his crew as they usher in the new year (so to speak).

He won’t have Wizards point guard John Wall to square off against since Wall is out with a knee injury that could sideline him well into December. (Wall, center Nene [plantar fascitis] and forward Kevin Seraphin [strained right calf] are all officially listed as “questionable” tonight.)

But that won’t matter, not to a competitor like Irving (ask Kobe Bryant how competitive he is) who has his sights set on leading the Cavaliers back to the playoffs after a two-season absence.

Irving is coming back from his own preseason bout with the doctors, having had four wisdom teeth pulled last week and returning to his coaches and teammates over the weekend. Irving lost a couple of pounds and felt a bit weakened after having his teeth pulled, but you know he’ll be ready for the bright lights of opening night.

So what if the Cavaliers begin their 43rd NBA season with one of the youngest rosters in the league and starting lineup featuring rookie Dion Waiters and journeyman Alonzo Gee?

Cavs coach Byron Scott has high expectations for his team as well, writing out a set of goals for each player that he passed out over the weekend.

The playoffs would seem to be a bit of a stretch for a team that managed just 21 wins last season. But in a wide-open chase for the final two spots in the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers are daring themselves to do something bigger than expected.

13 Comments

  1. speedicus says:

    look guys the real factor is players like Kyrie are the future of the league(and John Wall for a matter of fact) and this is a rivalry game. Im a Wizards fan and i cant wait to see how Beal, Waiters and these two young squads play tonight. I got respect for the Cavs and Wizards fans on here but Sekou man give the Wiz at least a sentence to show you know the number 3 pick is making his debut!

  2. CJ2kay says:

    I think both of these teams have a very good shot at the playoffs. The cavs are pretty much depending on irving to be derrick rose and carry them while the wizards have a much more complete team with veteran presence. Cavs just need to be consistant because the talent is there but you never know with young teams. And I am tired of people hating on these two teams I mean The East is garbage right now and these are the two teams wea are gonna be watching for the next 10+ years. Do you like basketball or what. enjoy the talent and development and shut up!

  3. izawolo says:

    Bias, bias, bias. The story is one sided. It focuses on the Cavaliers. All done to appease the cavaliers fans after losing their marque player-Lebron. The league needs to get over this. Sportswriters need to get over this. The Wizards is treated as a nonentity. Let’s see what the storyline will be at the end of the game or at the end of the season. All

    • A Fan says:

      The story is one sided because the Cavs have the reigning Rookie of the Year and have four first round draft picks from the last 2 drafts, three of which were top four picks. The result is that Cleveland is the more interesting team right now. Note that I didn’t say better, just more interesting. I fully expect the Wizards to be the better team this season. That said, even though I’m a Cleveland fan, I would have liked to hear a bit more about Washington in the article.

      As for the LeBron, I wholeheartedly agree with you that the league and media have beaten the LeBron-Cleveland issue to death. Most of the fans here have moved on and embraced this new group of young players. Unfortunatly, many fans around the league are still interested in that dynamic. If you want proof, just wait until a Cleveland-Miami game pops up for voting on fan night. The numbers will speak for themselves there. I’m just hoping that the interest will finally start to wane and we can all move on.

  4. Cleve-opolis says:

    As Cavs fans, the hope is for another year of improvement but a return to the lottery to get one more top end draft pick. Playoffs in 2014 would be about right for the franchise.

  5. Alex says:

    Hold on wait a minute? Yall thought the cavs were finished? Kyrie irving down the lane scorin on the wizards..

  6. SethMcKnight says:

    Go Cavs!

  7. 2mne says:

    Even with the bulls missing rose, the nets having poor defending bigs, and the age issues you indicated, all of the teams you mentioned are better than the cavs.

  8. steppx says:

    why is that funny??? The fanbase is so into the hype. Listen……..theKnicks are ancient and already hurt. Nets have the worst defending pair of bigs in the leauge. Chicago is missing rose, and the sixers missing Bynum. Who knows how good the Raptors might be, or the Cavs or Bucks. The cavs have irving, a good rookie center in Zeller and some guys they hope over achieve. I dont think its impossible at all.

  9. steppx says:

    I dont see why the Cavs cant. The fanboy base laughs at this (like zney) because they read the hype. The Knicks are OLd, already injured. The Nets have the two worst defending Bigs in the NBA possibly, and sixers franchise centerpiece is on IR for who knows how long. Rose is still out for the Bulls, and that leaves Indiana, Miami, and Boston (and the celtics face age issues, too). Raptors and Cavs are dark horses. Some like the Bucks. But whoever it is, the 7th and 8th seed are far from impossible for any team in the east. Cavs have Irving, a great rookie center in Zeller, and a decent group of (they hope) over achieving guys.

  10. Chester says:

    the cavs will be more fun to watch with varejao back in the middle. i like the team varejao, thompson, gee, walters, irving, with and rookie zeller should at least improve on last season

  11. zney says:

    Really Sekou? The Cavs? Lol

    I want to read about the real drama that’s about to pop off.