Following along on Twitter last night I realized why the Cavaliers hadn’t put any of their preseason games on television yet. Or at least maybe why they hadn’t.
The preseason Cavaliers product isn’t all that much to get excited about. Collectively, they looked real awful in Philadelphia. The impression that Cavs fans went away with after their first real chance to see what this year’s group might look like wasn’t awesome.
It is the preseason though. Luke Harangody didn’t even play.
Right, deep breath, things will get better.
Just not so much better that you’ll be watching a playoff game in Cleveland this season. That’s my assesment at this point, subject to change and back-dated editing of course. Unless the stars align and Kyrie Irving can max out (no Pepsi pun intended) on his potential while Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller and Dion Waiters all do the same.
Chill out on Waiters for right now too.
He didn’t look good in his 27 minutes of work last night, I’ll grant you that. But he was making his NBA debut, sort of, in his hometown of Philadelphia. If I ever made an NBA team, and then traveled back to Eastlake Middle School for my first preseason game, I’d be mad nervous too.
I imagine Dion Waiters felt at least a little bit of that last night. His Mom was in the house along with who knows how many friends, and all of South Philly had the game locked in on local television.
It’s unavoidable for any human to not put extra pressure on themselves in situations like that. Million dollar athletes who are 20 years old included.
That’s why you can’t just look at Waiters’ performance by saying: +/- of -13, 0-5 shooting from three, 2 for 7 overall from the floor – yikes.
He did have 0 turnovers as well, along with 2 steals, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds, for example. Hopefully it was one more step in the preseason learning process. If he goes 2 of 7 consistently during each of his first 35 real games, then I’ll be right next to you getting worried.
But he didn’t, we’re not even close to that point, and it’s still all good.
Kyrie Irving had 23 points in 27 minutes. Tristan Thompson finished with a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). Tyler Zeller started off pretty well during his 13 minutes of work too, then finished 3 of 6 for 6 points and 2 rebounds.
Not terrible for the young big from North Carolina against a frontline with Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young. Even with Andrew Bynum out, those two guys are pretty solid.
What I am interested to see when things tip off for reals though, is how exactly the Cavaliers will score enough points to win games.
I’ve already mentioned all the shot attempts that Antawn and AP packed into their respective Gucci Bags as they left the Cavaliers offensive attack from last season forever. Where do those shots now come from? That’s the biggest question for this team in the short-term.
I suppose the answer might be that “Masfresco” becomes the Spanish term for “Scoring Machine”. C.J. Miles is going to be asked to score a ton of points for this team I think. A ton more than he’s used to. As it stands right now, it kinda looks like Miles is going to need to average 15 or 16 points for this team to be competitive.
Unless, of course, Daniel Gibson scoring the 18 points he did last night in Philly is something we’ll see with more regularity. Probably going to need to be Miles though.
Or else Luke Walton.
Kidding about Uncle Luke. Trying to keep it light here. No reason for doom and gloom right now, it’s only preseason.
Next game isn’t until October 23rd. Meanwhile, Byron Scott will be running these guys until their legs fall off.
Photo: BeaumontEnterprise.com / AP