Cavaliers vs Pistons: The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers play at 7 p.m. Friday in an NBA preseason game at Breslin Center in East Lansing.The Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons are two of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA, and it is always a great game when the two match up. … It’s always a great time at the arena during Cavaliers vs. Pistons games.
Friday night is the first time since Mateen Cleaves’ rookie year with the Pistons that the NBA has held a preseason game at Breslin Center. That game, in October of 2000, pitted the Pistons against the Utah Jazz. Before that, it was about a once-a-decade thing. In 1991, the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets met in the preseason at Breslin. On Oct. 15, 1981, Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers sold out Jenison Field House for an exhibition against rookie Isiah Thomas and the Pistons.
In the 1980s, you also might have found Magic and some NBA friends playing pickup basketball upstairs at Jenison Field House or at the old Downtown Lansing YMCA, or in a charity game at Don Johnson Field House.
Perhaps the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs can arrange a Denzel Valentine-Bryn Forbes preseason game at Breslin in the near future.
This game is technically a Cavaliers home game. It’s happening at Breslin because of MSU grad and donor Dan Gilbert, who paid for part of the recent Breslin Center renovations and owns the Cavs. There is a free Cavs Fan Fest outside the Gilbert Pavilion entrance at Breslin beginning at 4:30 p.m.
2. Some good seats are still available
As of Thursday afternoon, you could still purchase tickets together as low as the eighth row for $45 apiece. Only lower-bowl seats are being sold and those who initially purchased upper-bowl tickets have been upgraded to lower seats. Remaining chair-back seats in the lower bowl start at $35. Tickets can be purchased at MSUSpartans.com, under “tickets” and then “order tickets.” Or call 517-355-1610.
3. No LeBron, but plenty to see
If LeBron James was still on the Cavs and playing Friday, this might be a sellout. Instead, the Cavs are less interesting, though still have Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Co. The Pistons’ roster is probably more of a draw, featuring Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, etc. With 20 players on Detroit’s preseason roster, it’s unclear how many of the regulars will play and how much.
Most importantly, this game marks the return of former Lansing State Journal prep writer James Edwards, who now covers the Pistons for The Athletic Detroit.