NBA Preseason 2013: Breaking Down Tuesday's Compelling Schedule

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: John Wall #2 and Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards pose for a portrait during 2013 NBA Media Day at the Verizon Center on September 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

The importance of the NBA preseason—or any sport's preseason—can certainly be debated, but at the end of the day, basketball is back and that's all that matters. 

Although the games don't count for anything, getting an early look at rookies, players in new places and just the overall makeup of teams can give us a good idea of how the regular season might play out. 

So, with the preseason in full swing, don't automatically dismiss it. Tuesday's full slate, in fact, is especially compelling. Let's take a look. 


Complete Schedule


Team to Watch: Cleveland Cavaliers

In my personal opinion, there is no team more intriguing this season than the Cleveland Cavaliers. They could just as easily be a playoff team as they could land another top-five pick.

Kyrie Irving has the talent to be one of the top three offensive point guards in the league, Dion Waiters can score in a hurry and the amalgam of potential frontcourt stars—Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Bynum, Anderson Varejao and Tyler Zeller—is incredibly tantalizing. 

INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 30: Anthony Bennett #15 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a portrait during 2012 NBA Media Day on September 30th, 2013 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts Practice Facility in Independence, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The success of this team hinges on health. 

Bynum missed all of last season and is still not 100 percent. Varejao played just 25 games last season and is still trying to get back to full strength. The rookie Bennett had offseason surgery and was reportedly "exhausted" four minutes into a scrimmage this week.

Even Irving missed 23 games last season. 

A team dripping with talent in all facets of the game, it will be enticing to see how healthy Cleveland looks on the court. 


Game to Watch: Warriors vs. Jazz

October 5, 2013; Ontario, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) moves the ball up court against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you were living under a rock for all of last season, you know the kind of show this Warriors team can put on. 

If Steph Curry gets going, he's unstoppable. Klay Thompson, who dropped 26 off the bench in Golden State's preseason opener, is a similar microwave-type scorer. Harrison Barnes only got better as last season went on, and after a marvelous postseason performance, the sky is the ceiling in his second year.

Oh, and he does stuff like this:

Add in a healthy David Lee and Andrew Bogut, newcomer Andre Iguodala and youngster Draymond Green, and this will once again be one of the most entertaining teams in the league. 

But don't overlook the Jazz in that department, either. 

Wins may be hard to come by in Utah this season, but with dynamic rookie Trey Burke at point guard and one of the best young frontcourt duos in the NBA in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter finally entering the starting lineup, this team is going to be fun to watch. 

With all of the amazing young talent on both of these rosters, Tuesday's preseason matchup is going to be scintillating. 


Player to Watch: Bradley Beal

As a rookie last season, Beal averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.9 steals per contest. 

Certainly nothing to get overly enthralled about, sure, but he was getting better as the season progressed. He averaged 17.5 points in February and shot a scorching 53.6 percent from the three-point line in March. 

However, ankle and fibula injuries forced him to miss a bunch of time near the end of the season, and his upward trajectory was put on pause. 

Still, Beal is reportedly back to 100 percent, he is still just 20 years old and he will have a full-strength John Wall next to him in the backcourt. 

The potential for a monster breakout season is evident, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that I'm downright giddy about seeing his continued improvement into one of the East's best shooting guards.