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- The Wizards will start No. 3 overall draft pick Bradley Beal at shooting guard, while the Cavaliers have named No. 4 overall selection Dion Waiters their starter at the same spot. “They are two kids with obviously bright futures in this league,” Washington coach Randy Wittman said. “They will be successful for a long time.” Florida product Beal averaged 11.3 points and 2.5 assists in the preseason, while former Syracuse sixth man Waiters averaged 8.6 points and 2.1 helpers.
- Center Emeka Okafor, power forward Trevor Booker, small forward Trevor Ariza, and point guard A.J. Price round out the Wizards’ starting lineup. “I like how this group developed from a defensive standpoint, which is why we’re going with them,” Wittman said. “Plus, by using JC (shooting guard Jordan Crawford) and Martell (Webster, small forward) off the bench, it gives us a big kick there.”
- Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving — the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year — said he was very eager for the regular season to begin for two reasons. “We’re young, so we’re going to learn together, and the playoffs are our ultimate goal,” he said, breaking into a smile. “I’m also excited not to be called ‘Rookie’ anymore. That’s not my first name.”
- The remainder of the Cavaliers’ starting lineup consists of center Anderson Varejao, power forward Tristan Thompson, and small forward Alonzo Gee. Swingman C.J. Miles, small forward Omri Casspi, shooting guard Daniel Gibson, and center Tyler Zeller are expected to round out their rotation.
- Washington’s inactives are point guard John Wall (left patella stress injury), power forward Nene (left plantar fasciitis), and power forward Kevin Seraphin (right calf strain). Wall is expected to be out until late November, but no timetable has been established for Nene or Seraphin to return.
- Point guard Jeremy Pargo and power forward Luke Harangody are Cleveland’s inactives, both as healthy scratches. Wizards point guard Jannero Pargo, who is in uniform, is Jeremy’s older brother. Jannero is 33, while Jeremy is 26.
- The game officially tips off the 2012-2013 NBA season, beginning one hour before Miami hosts Boston. The lone other contest on the evening has Dallas playing at the Lakers.
– Brian Dulik