Anderson Varejao to start over Tristan Thompson at center for Cavaliers

16 Comments

The Cavaliers entered the preseason with a mostly set starting lineup:

  • Point guard: Kyrie Irving
  • Shooting guard: Dion Waiters wants to start, and every indication is he will. He’s started all seven preseason games.
  • Small forward: LeBron James
  • Power forward: Kevin Love

Center was the only major question with Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson vying to start.

Now, Cavaliers coach David Blatt has answered it.

Chris Haynes of The Plain Dealer:

https://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes/status/525696843259584512

Varejao is a solid fit with Cleveland’s stars. He’s a quality team defender and good rebounder, and on the other end, he screens well and keeps the ball moving.

There are just two hang-ups. He’s not springy enough to anchor a defense by blocking a lot of shots, and he’s 32 with a decently worrisome injury history.

The Cavaliers should explore options to acquire a rim protector via trade, and they should do what they can to limit Varejao’s minutes before the playoffs. Just because Varejao is starting doesn’t mean he must play more than Thompson.

In the end, Varejao is the better option to start. But this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning, and Cleveland should be mindful of that.