Preseason - Maccabi Tel Aviv v Cleveland Cavaliers

It looks like Anderson Varejao will be in the starting lineup at center for the Cleveland Cavaliers, beating out teammate Tristan Thompson for the role.

Cavaliers head coach David Blatt announced the decision to start the 32-year-old versus the New York Knicks on Thursday, according to ESPN. Varejao will join small forward LeBron James, point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters and power forward Kevin Love in the starting 5.

The decision was made thanks to Varejao playing with James in the past when they were teammates from 2004-10 before James bolted to the Miami Heat. The 23-year-old Thompson, meanwhile, will come off the bench.

"That was more or less the idea of beginning with Andy just because those two guys are so good together," Blatt said. "And Tristan is equally as efficient in either case. So, that's more or less the basis, but it doesn't mean that Tristan won't be starting some of the games. I'm sure he will be. Just right now, that's the way we're looking to go."

James, however, also has a connection with Paul since they both share the same agent in Rich Paul.

"They're both high-energy guys, and they're both a very, very key proponent and [piece] to our [puzzle]," James said. "One thing about Andy, he's a veteran, he's been a part of big games, and he kind of knows what's going on at all times, and I think it's his seniority that gets him the nod.

"He's a guy who kind of plays under the rim and uses his touch and uses his quickness, and Tristan gives us the guy above the rim. So it's great for those guys to complement each other, both with their ability to rebound, with their ability to finish around the rim. They just do it different ways."

We'll see how Cleveland performs on Thursday versus the Knicks, who will debut their new triangle offense.


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