For the Cavaliers the injury (and food poisoning bugs) have hit the team hard over the past few days as Kyrie Irving (food poisoning) is set to play, Dion Waiters (right quad contusion) is questionable, C.J. Miles (food poisoning) is also questionable, and rookie Tyler Zeller is out after a concussion left him with a cheekbone fracture.
We are going to have to wait for Round One of the Zeller Brothers Battle as Tyler is in Cleveland and Luke is not dressing for the game.
Defense is going to be the key against what Alvin Gentry called "the best young back-court in the NBA." Especially the dribble penetration going against the likes of Irving and Waiters putting Gortat in a tough position, but one gleaming positive has been Gortat's ability to swat away those shots when the defense collapses.
"We have never been a great shot-blocking team," said Gentry before the game. "But Marcin (Gortat) has been great. Jermaine O'Neal has been a great mentor for him. You would hope that they would not have that may opportunities."
This game is all about the point guard battle between Goran Dragic and Irving. They are the bright spots for their respective teams as young leaders of each respective franchise for the foreseeable future.
PG - Goran Dragic v. Kyrie Irving
SG - Jared Dudley v. Dion Waiters
SF - Michael Beasley v. Alonzo Gee
PF - Luis Scola v. Tristan Thompson
C - Marcin Gortat v. Anderson Varejao
Opponents Take: Byron Scott on the Mike Brown Firing
"I think as one of the 30 in this league you always feel bad when one of your counterparts gets let go. It was a little surprising to me after just five games into the season, but I was told a long time ago, when you get hired, you get hired to get fired in this league. That’s just the NBA and that’s just the life that we’ve chosen. Mike will definitely bounce back on his feet. He’s a good coach and a good guy so he will be alright. Only thing I can compare it to is I got fired 9 games into New Orleans, so maybe that’s pretty close to being comparable. "
"As I stated in the summer, I made perfectly clear, that I am perfectly happy here in Cleveland. I love what we’re building, I love what we’re doing. This might be a good time to ask Dan can I get another four year extension. With the young guys we have and the draft picks we have coming, I want another four years when my contract is up. It might be a good time to start politicking for that. So that’s how I feel."
That is what Shannon Brown is averaging in the two Suns wins this season. In losses he is averaging just 10.66 points per game, a margin of +8.34 in wins which will be a major key for the team tonight.