Byron Scott announces Cavaliers’ starting five

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]

  • thenoclist

    This is what I wanted to see. Please never play the Lukes or Casspi because they suck.

  • eldaveablo

    I like the bench way more than I thought I would. Miles can score, Zeller can too and adds rebounding, defense, and running on the break. Leuer sounds like an efficient player too that I’m excited to see. This might just turn out OK.

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    I still like the Casspi trade. Remember he is only 24.

  • mgbode

    if we had a PG who could push the break and distribute in the half-court sets I would agree. that is an important piece missing though.

  • Jack

    Feel strangely pessimistic looking at that lineup. Undersized. Under-skilled. Don’t wanna be a negative nancy, but can’t help but feel Cavs missed on draft/Bynum…badly.

  • technivore

    Strongly disagree. I’m pretty high on Zeller, but with him excepted that bench looks historically bad to me.

  • Ray

    Everyone wants to be right. Either way, you win. If they perform well, you’ll cheer. If they don’t you’ll say you told everyone so. Doesn’t really matter. Just be positive because this team will be awful this season. Only hope is that they’re entertaining and competitive.

  • royalbott

    How is Harangody still on the team? Have they seen him shoot the ball? For that alone, he should be gone.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    It’s certainly a mystery. Even greater of a mystery is why the Cavs guaranteed some money in his contract for this season. I hope we don’t see him on the court except for in garbage time.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    That guy should be Waiters with the 2nd unit. I’m disappointed that he’s starting. Give him the minutes in crunch time and let him be the playmaker for the 2nd unit this year.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think you’ll see Casspi play better this year. Granted, it’s hard not to play better, but he’s certainly capable of much more than he showed last year.

  • Hill

    Sounds like an athletic line-up. Lets hope everyone can stay healthy

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Ain’t nothin’ but a Gee thang baby! Kinda odd the Cavaliers start against Washington same night as the defending champions but hey go old man Celtics.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This team is going to have a hard time scoring though.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He’s the Cavaliers Owen Marecic!

  • Yup

    Sorry but until you say who the Cavs should’ve drafted you have no buisness bitching. Put your opinion on the line…

  • NoVA Buckeye

    Disagree. Luke Walton is the best player on the team like Kirk Ferentz is the greatest coach in college football.

  • Scott loves him, high motor, great practice player…most importantly, he’s no worse than any other NBA 12th man.

  • mgbode

    Cmon. Ferentz at least has had success earlier in his career.

  • mgbode

    he whips a mean towel at the end of a bench

  • mgbode

    you know I agree with you.

  • mgbode

    historically bad? take a look at the Bobcats starting-5 last year and get back to me.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m big on choir preaching.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think the problem is that our 12th man actually ends up playing during most seasons. After Boobie and Andy go down with their annual injuries, that bench starts getting a lot shorter. At that point, I’d rather have just about every other team’s 12th man than our towel-waving practice monster.

  • mgbode

    it is rather uplifting to have people cheering with you on every word: here we go V.P., here we go….

  • CBI

    You need to take a look back at the Jim Paxson years. He loaded those teams with nothing but over the hill bad veterans and bust draft picks until Lebron finally fell into his lap. To be historically bad takes a special level of incompetence that few but Jim were able to obtain.

  • TSR3000

    Excited to see Zeller off the bench. I think we might have gotten a steal there.

  • Is that the youngest starting 5 in the league?

  • mgbode

    interesting thought. it has to be close right? (Sacramento is starting Isiah Thomas-23, Thornton-25, T. Evans-23, J.Thompson-26, D.Cousins-22)
    and once T-Rob-21 enters the starting lineup they will actually get younger.

    we’d have to swap out Zeller for AV to compete.