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NBA Brooklyn Nets

5 Cleveland Cavaliers That Brooklyn Nets Must Watch Closely

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5 Cleveland Cavaliers That Brooklyn Nets Should Watch Closely

Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers
David Richard-USA Today Sports

With their 108-87 beatdown of the Miami Heat on Friday night, the Brooklyn Nets’ preseason finally came to a close.

Now the Nets can focus on what they’ve been waiting months to begin: the regular season.

The first team standing in their way in a game that will actually count is the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Nets head to Ohio to open the season on Wednesday night. Many people wouldn’t think of the Cavs as a team worth worrying about at all, but that would be a huge mistake.

Cleveland not only has some talent, but they have very young talent at that. And we can’t forget to mention that they’ve brought back head coach Mike Brown, a fundamentally sound defensive mind who had quite a bit of success with the Cavs back in the day.

If all the pieces fall into place the way the Cavs hope they will this season, they could end up playing beyond the regular season. That’s right -- the Cavs could be a postseason team. Not a dominant one, but there’s no doubt they’ve got the talent to sneak into the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

That is exactly why the Nets shouldn’t take them lightly at all. The game will be broadcast on NBATV, and the last thing the Nets want to do is lose their highly-anticipated debut to the Cavs in front of much of the country because they refused to take them seriously.

If the Nets want to avoid that letdown, here are five Cavs they need to be the most aware of:

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz and “Like” him on Facebook.

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5. Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett
David Richard-USA Today Sports

The Cavaliers made Anthony Bennett the no. 1 pick in this year's draft, and the Nets need to respect the potential that comes with that title.

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4. Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson
David Kohl-USA Today Sports

Tristan Thompson has grown into a solid player in this league. The Nets need to be aware of his size and scoring abilities.

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3. Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters
David Richard-USA Today Sports

Dion Waiters is an athletic, explosive scorer that can give any team fits.

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2. Anderson Varejao

Anderson Varejao
Sam Sharpe-USA Today Sports

Anderson Varejao's rebounding ability can present major issues on any given night.

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1. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving
David Manning-USA Today Sports

Kyrie Irving can do it all: score, pass, defend. He's a budding star that can flat-out light it up.