On Cavaliers At Pistons Tonight, And Norris Cole Last Night On TNT

The Cavaliers were certainly competitive with Lawrence Frank’s Detroit Pistons in their two-game preseason series, winning one of those two games that didn’t count for anything, so maybe that means they’ll be competitive again tonight when it does matter. The Pistons are also coming off an opening night loss of their own as well, albeit to a new-look Indiana Pacers team who’d beat the Toronto Raptors by at least seventeen points on average if they played ten times in a row on a neutral floor, but regardless they’re still 0-1.  

Detroit Pistons' Brandon Knight (7) tries to drive around Cleveland Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson in the fourth quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, in Cleveland. The Pistons won 90-89.
In their opener Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko each had 17, Ben Gordon had 14 points on 4 of 14 shooting, Brandon Knight had 9, and Austin Daye didn’t score. Expect Stuckey and Jerebko to put those kind of numbers up all year, Ben Gordon I’d let shoot as many times as he wants right now, and don’t expect Austin Daye to have many nights like he had last time out. Stuckey is a big guard too, so it will be intersting to see if Irving starts on him defensively.  If the Cavaliers go with the same group they did on Monday, it might be possible Anthony Parker slides over to start on Rodney and Irving guards Ben Gordon but we’ll see.  It’s probably not that big of deal either way really.

For all the draft gurus who want to use the fact that Kyrie Irving did not have a spectacular game in his debut to say see, we should’ve done that thing people only do in Fantasy Basketball Drafts and taken Derrick Williams and Brandon Knight instead, just know that Knight’s first game was far from being any better than Kyrie’s.  Without the pressure of having to fill a gigantic void left by LeBron James, Brandon Knight finished with 0 assists, 4 turnovers, and went 3 of 9 from the field for 9 points in 17 minutes of work. So we’ll see how he does his second time out too against the Cavaliers tonight.

I absolutely expect to see Samardo Samuels tonight instead of Ryan Hollins too, as I imagine much of the civilized basketball universe also does, so let’s all hope that happens. Here’s also hoping the Cavaliers can get this thing back to .500 tonight.

I will be cheering for Norris Cole all season long:

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 27: Norris Cole #30 of the Miami Heat reacts after winning a game against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena on December 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida.Actually I’ll be cheering for Norris Cole throughout his entire career, just like I was last night while he was scoring 20 points against the Boston Celtics on TNT. I understand that any success he has helps out a trio of fellas we’re not too fond of in this area, but I don’t really care about that. Norris Cole’s success is good business for Cleveland, period. The former Cleveland State Viking was trending on twitter last night in the United States, as was the phrase Cleveland State. If you thought Gary Waters was a good recruiter before last night, just imagine the type of living rooms he can walk into now.  

The thing about Cole’s success as it relates to Cleveland State and Gary Waters specifically is uniquely important too. Cole was a kid that was supposed to play in the Horizon League – at best – coming out of High School. He’s a good kid, a really good kid, and not at all the type of talent that was relegated to Cleveland State basketball based on getting booted out of a high major program he started at.  Cole worked as hard as he could under the tutelage of Gary Waters to improve his game every single day he wore a Cleveland State Vikings uniform, and in the end an absolutely legit NBA Point Guard who appears to be headed towards a significantly successful NBA career was produced.  

If that is what can happen for young players who completely buy into what Gary Waters is selling, the sky is absolutely the limit for the Cleveland State program. The better Norris Cole plays, the more loudly that sales pitch rings true.  Keep doing your thing Norris.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. 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, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.