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Bucks vs. Cavs Preview: LeBron James, Kevin Love and Jabari Parker expected in street clothes as Jason Kidd's crew lands in Cleveland

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Through 96 minutes of preseason basketball, the Milwaukee Bucks have yet to look like a team ready to break into the East's upper echelon. Thankfully, they still have four games and 15 days to work out the kinks before the NBA's regular season begins.

MORE: Podcast: Talking Bucks X's and O's

The Bucks look to bounce back from an ugly home loss to the Pistons on Saturday night when they travel to Cleveland on Tuesday (6 pm CT, NBA TV), a task that figures to be greatly simplified by the expected absences of LeBron James (rest), Kevin Love (just started practicing after shoulder surgery), Kyrie Irving (still out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury), and Tristan Thompson (still unsigned). What that means for the Cavs' starting five tonight isn't clear, though it presumably won't be pretty. Timofey Mozgov and a cloud of dust?

Not that the Bucks will be at full strength either, and it's worth noting they lost to a depleted Bulls team a week ago, too. Jabari Parker is practicing but will once again be held out for precautionary reasons, Chris Copeland will miss his third straight preseason game due to family reasons, Miles Plumlee is day-to-day after awkward falling on his right knee, and Tyler Ennis (shoulder surgery) is reportedly around a month away from returning.

Even so, the Bucks should have a clear talent advantage given all those Cavaliers missing in action, and they can probably use it after their "dress rehearsal" against Detroit went sideways from the opening tip. Despite an 18/8 night from Greg Monroe against his former team and another encouraging set of performances from Rashad Vaughn and Damien Inglis, the Bucks hemorrhaged points early and were never competitive against Stan Van Gundy's crew on Saturday.

Michael Carter-Williams managed to score efficiently (14 points on 9 shots) while starting with Greivis Vasquez for the first time, but questions about how the Bucks will handle their backcourt rotations remain. Beyond that, Giannis Antetokounmpo has yet to hit his stride while playing mostly PF in Parker's absence, and the Bucks' defense has in general struggled since holding the Bulls to 37 points in the preseason opener. It's still not much to go on, but a strong showing in Northeast Ohio would be a nice way to kick off the preseason's final fortnight.

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2015/16 NBA Season
(0-2, 0-1 road)
vs.
(0-3, 0-2 home)
October 13, 2015
Quicken Loans Arena | Cleveland, OH
6:00 CT
NBA TV | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Michael Carter-Williams PG Matthew Dellavedova
Rashad Vaughn SG Jared Cunningham
Khris Middleton SF Richard Jefferson
Giannis Antetokounmpo PF Anderson Varejao
Greg Monroe C Timofey Mozgov
2014/15 Advanced Stats
94.1(13th) Pace 92.3 (25th)
102.7 (26th) ORtg 111.1 (3rd)
102.2 (4th) DRtg 106.3 (18th)