Cavaliers move up start time of season opener to accommodate Game 1 of World Series

INDEPENDENCE: J.R. Smith wants to catch a few innings of Tuesday’s World Series. Perhaps now he can.

The Cavaliers have moved up the start time of their season opener Tuesday to accommodate the Indians, who will host Game 1 across the plaza on the same evening.

The Cavs’ ring ceremony and banner raising will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and the game against the New York Knicks will tip off at 7:30. The first pitch of the World Series is set for shortly after 8 p.m.
“I might go tiptoe over there at halftime myself. I might skip layup line or something,” joked Smith, an avid baseball fan who has attended quite a few Indians games this season. “It’s going to be an unbelievable night.”

These few days of practice have been important for Smith, who is still trying to build his conditioning after missing most of the preseason to a contract dispute. Coach Tyronn Lue already indicated Smith needed this week of practice and team scrimmages to get his wind and legs under him and wouldn’t commit Friday to playing Smith his normal allotment of minutes Tuesday — although he did confirm Smith will still start.

“I want to make sure we do what’s right for him and make sure his health is the most important thing for us.” “We don’t want to try to wear him down or get it all back in one day,” Lue said. “Just have to watch it, gauge it and see how he’s looking on the floor.”
Smith’s shot hasn’t been too rusty since returning, although he did lose a shooting contest to assistant coach Damon Jones on Friday.

“I missed like two shots today in practice. So as long as I keep making them, I guess I’ll stay on the court,” Smith said. “Bron [LeBron James] and Ky [Kyrie Irving] told me [Thursday] I’ve got to slow down because I was trying to do way too much and too fast. But I’m starting to get back on pace.”
Doors to Quicken Loans Arena will open at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and fans are urged to be in their seats by 6:45. The ring ceremony and banner raising will be carried exclusively on TNT.

In addition, fans attending the Cavs’ opener will receive a schedule magnet, a black championship T-shirt and a silicone band that will allow fans to virtually try on and snap photos of the team’s championship ring. The silicone band uses augmented reality technology, the team said, that when used in conjunction with the Cavs app simulates a championship ring visual that fans can share on their own social networks.

Flo Rida will also perform at halftime of Tuesday’s game.
For fans fortunate enough to have tickets to both events Tuesday, Lue said he doesn’t blame anyone who leaves the Cavs early to go across the plaza.

“If you think about it realistically, we already won and it’s over and they were there to support that,” Lue said. “So now the Indians are going to the World Series and it’s a great time. Whatever they decide to do is on them.”

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