Figuring out the starting five as preseason winds down

If you’re wondering what the Cavaliers starting five and rotation might look like this season, Tuesday night’s game down in Cincy against the Sixers should begin to paint that picture.  As reported Monday, the five currently tabbed as starters include Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, and Ramon Sessions.  Mo is obviously still out, and when healthy he is thought to replace Sessions in that opening unit. 

 Jamario Moon Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 5

So for now, if you feel like breaking this down, I suppose the story-lines could include Moon as the front-runner at SF, AP holding onto that two guard spot from a year ago, and Antawn Jamison coming off the bench.  I don’t really feel like breaking this down though right now.

If I were to offer my two sense with a little over a week to go before they open it up for real, I’d say that I like Moon in that role over Jawad and Graham, I would rather see Mo and Sessions start together in the back-court over AP, and I’m good with Jamison coming off the bench as the sixth man.  But at this point, I simply trust Byron Scott’s assessment of practice because he is running practice and I haven’t been to the facility since media day.  So he probably knows more about it than I do.

He is also probably going to change this starting five about 10 to 15 times before the All Star Break as he works his way through the roster, so I don’t really feel the need to get too excited about it right now one way or another.  I look forward to watching that progression though, and am intrigued by the possible options and different mixes of guys he could assemble on the court at different times.  I think the possibility very much exists to play an exciting brand of basketball this season.  Seriously, I think that.

I also think that bringing Jamison off the bench makes sense.  It might be more difficult to bring an aging star who has always started off the bench and expect him to settle into a role as a productive reserve, but Jamison has already been there / done that.  

Done it well too…as Byron Scott reminded us when talking with Jodie Valade of the PD:

Although Scott hasn’t made up his mind yet — he’ll use the final two preseason games to nail down his starters and begin employing the 10-man rotation he hopes to use during the regular season — he knows he can use the 34-year-old Jamison off the bench and still see the impact on the floor.

“Some of the reason is experience,” Scott said in describing Jamison’s role. “He’s done it before, so he understands what that role pertains to as far as he’s concerned. I think he would be fine either way. He’s a professional.”

While this shouldn’t impact the starting five, or even the rotation I wouldn’t think, I’ll also be keeping a close eye on Manny Harris tomorrow night too.  Could Manny Harris be in the rotation?  I wouldn’t think so, but who knows right now I suppose.  There’s certainly a lot of people high on the kid from Michigan

Including Byron Scott (via Jason Lloyd/

”I’m surprised by how well he’s [Manny Harris] played,” Scott said. ”He has played extremely well. You have to be happy for him.”

Harris’ first opportunity came a week ago on the Cavs’ two-game swing through Texas. He caught Scott’s eye by scoring 14 points in 24 minutes in each game and he hasn’t let up. Over the last four games, Harris is averaging 11.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 23 minutes.

So Manny Harris, the coach wants to see more…you want to make an NBA roster?  Chance is yours.

More later this week after the game.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.