|Cleveland fan supports the Cavs in a D.C. cafe|
The Wizards, on the other hand, who'd been without their star John Wall for the entire season, were just looking for a win, something they had not accomplished since December 11th in New Orleans.
|Verizon Center two hours before tip-off|
I arrived at the arena at 4:30 again, expecting to be let in early, but was told to wait in the lobby until 5:00. Apparently fan photographers aren't allowed to be in the building too early, even though I was granted entrance at a quarter til 5 for Saturday's game against the Pistons. Nonetheless, I was able to use my own personal camera to get some shots of some of the players warming up. I saw some of the Cavaliers players involved in a 3-on-3 game with their assistant coaches, which was really more of a training session. Back-up big men Samardo Samuels and Jon Leuer seemed to be giving one another all they could handle in the post. On the other side of the court, Cartier Martin and Bradley Beal were putting up as many shots as they could before game-time. Assistant coach Sam Cassell was taking just as many. I went upstairs to the storage room where I pick up my camera, and was told by my supervisor to aim for around 200 shots for the night. Piece of cake. I went back down by the court, and with a half-hour left until fans would begin entering the arena, saw who would be the biggest star in tonight's game, Kyrie Irving. He wasn't on the court for that long, but dribbled up and down the sideline a couple times, before taking a few jump-shots. Then he went back to the locker room, not to be seen until about 10 minutes before tip when all the players take the floor for pregame warmups. I noticed a kid with an Anderson Varejao Brazil jersey waiting patiently for his countryman to emerge from the locker room, before being ushered back to his seats a couple of levels up from the court. I saw Wizards fans take pictures with Martell Webster, Emeka Okafor, and Jordan Crawford, longing to be close to the players they had seen on TV.
|3-on-3: Cavs forward Samardo Samuels posts up guard Jeremy Pargo|