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Ballin' 

A survival guide for Cavs fans as a new season tips off

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Kyrie Irving Is That Really Good Player Over There Who Knows How to Play Basketball.

He can't even drink yet, but he's a rising superstar. How about 18.5 points per game in his first season? How about 5.4 assists? How about a 21.49 Player Efficiency Ranking (a fancy stat metric that basically means Kyrie Irving is damn good at basketball)? And how about the Rookie of the Year Award?

Yeah, they're all reasons to believe the Cavs grabbed another superstar in the draft when they tanked and landed the Golden Ticket to take the Duke point guard. And he's delivered with every game-winning shot, displaying a clutch gene that seemed to have been absent in a certain predecessor during his time in Cleveland.

Inveterate worriers can point to the 51 games Irving was limited to last year because of injury issues. No surprise there, since he seems to have no regard for his body as he jumps into towers of bruisers surrounding the rim. Plan on Irving giving Cleveland a heart attack or two.

Um, Who the Fuck Are the Rest of Those Guys?

A Scene staffer recently spotted a tall, schlubby white guy in Cavs-issued clothes wandering around the Steelyard Commons Target early on Sunday morning. Turns out it was Tyler Zeller, the North Carolina center the Cavs used a first-round draft pick on over the summer. Huh.

Welcome to the new Cleveland Cavs, featuring lots of young guys with whom you may or may not be familiar, and who may or may not be competent at playing basketball. Time will tell.

Wherefore art thou, Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker? Gone, along with their bloated contracts and aching, old legs. Now, it's Dion Waiters, the Syracuse shooting guard who struggled, to put it charitably, in his first preseason action. And there's Zeller, who's looking better than the guy drafted before him, though it's too early to tell which end of the big white guy spectrum he lands on.

Boobie Gibson is still around, notable mostly for his new reality show on BET, where he talks about family with his R&B singer wife, Keyshia Cole.

And there's the rest of the motley bunch: Luke Harangody, Samardo Samuels, Alonzo Gee, role players you may remember from lesser performances last year, holding roster spots while GM Chris Grant stockpiles options and open salary cap space looking for future draft picks or trades. In the midst of a sizable rebuilding effort, Grant has emphasized crafting a team the right way. This only sometimes means losing as many games as possible and hoping a Kyrie Irving drops into your lap.

Get Ready for Another Bizarre Uniform.

For the fifth year in a row, the Cavs will unveil a special alternate uniform, the CavFanatic get-up, originally meant to promote the team's social networking site. The design changes every year, mashing up two previous unis into a new example of haute couture. Throw some old-school orange in with the electric blazing blue from the Terrell Brandon days? Sure. The basket-in-the-V version with '70s wine color patterns? Why not?

This year's version hasn't been released yet, but we hope it's black-on-black-on-black, because if college football has taught us anything, it's that people love black jerseys.

Prepare for sensory overload.

Game? What game? Oh yeah, you're talking about the stuff that happens when the cheerleaders aren't wiggling to Jock Jams and the Top 40 at full volume on the court, or when the dance team isn't doing collective body tumbles while cannons fire t-shirts into the stands based on which sections are out-cheering the others, or when the frozen pizza specials aren't being blared over the PA for one lucky club row, or when Lil' Timmy and Jimmy aren't dueling in a free throw contest, or when three schlubs from the upper deck aren't busy trying to guess how much money is in the special Key Bank suitcase, or when the jumbo screen isn't dressed with hearts and Cupids while the camera pans on unsuspecting couples...kiss, make them kiss, make them kiss...oh wait, now it's focused on two guys! Hah!

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