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A little chess in the preseason finale

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  October 21, 2009 03:01 PM

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Jim Davis/Globe Staff Photo

So it's highly unlikely that you'll be seeing the matchup above at any point tonight.

Doc Rivers already made it clear that he had no intentions of playing the Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce in the exhibition finale. His reasons were twofold. There's the obvious benefit of a night off for the Big Three and then there's the competitive aspect with the Celtics opening the season against the Cavs in Cleveland next week.

However, Cavs head coach Mike Brown may not be taking the same approach. as Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer tweeted last night.pdtweet%28300%29.JPG

The idea behind Rivers holding his stars is that he didn't want to give one of his biggest competitors a look at his team before he had to. Sunday against the Raptors, Doc showed a lineup that had Marquis Daniels at the point with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce Rasheed Wallace, breaking it up after a few possessions after seeing enough. One other possible lineup he had tossed around was Daniels and Pierce in the backcourt with Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, and Wallace up front.

Health issues have put the Cavs in a different predicament, and as Windhorst wrote yesterday, they've found themselves at a point where they're just starting to come together:

"The team injury report, which featured 11 names just a week ago, was down to one for the preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks at the University of Pittsburgh. All the players who had the flu, seven of them in all, were back. LeBron James, however, said before the game he was not yet 100 percent.
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