THAT'S IT? THEY ONLY GOT 74?
DION WAITERS, GETTING REAL. (Ron Hoskins NBAE/Getty Images)
1. DION WAITERS RETURNS
Waiters was aggressive from the start of the game all the way to the end. Refs didn’t give him the benefit of calls on some shots he took driving, but he kept going anyway. He led the team in scoring with 17 points and added 4 steals. Quite frankly, his scoring numbers should have been should have been even better but for getting hammered inside and not getting whistles.
Perhaps Dion got the message from playing only 14 minutes against Charlotte on Friday night, responded and played 29 minutes, also leading the team in shot attempts with 21. Again, this team absolutely needs Waiters to improve this season in order to reach their goals. If he plays the way he did against Indiana, however, he is holding up his end of that. Jarrett Jack’s game has showed it’s notorious flaw, taking ill advised “hero shots” instead of looking for open teammates, and Waiters needs to keep Jack on the bench by becoming the go-to player that starts and finishes.
Oh and Lance Stephenson of the Pacers? Nobody did much to stop him. A failure to close out on his perimiter shooting resulted in Stephenson shooting 5 of 7 from long range, totaling 22 points. Pretty sure Stephenson would still be making 3s right now if the clock hadn't ended. Which is kind of the bummer sandwich which came half off with the "score only 74 points in an NBA game" soup and salad.
2. ANDERSON VAREJAO'S NEW NORMAL
Varejao jump shot is legit. Looks tired still, not the machine of destruction that he was last season coming out of starring for Brasil prior to the injury, but he’s looking good and although that jumper has been hard to get used to, having witnessed Varejao’s entire career, it is an effective shot at this point. His minutes don’t really seem to reflect any concern about re-injury… BKN 34 CHA 29 IND 29. And no relief from Andrew Bynum, who was held out Saturday after playing Friday against Charlotte.
3. NBA DOT COM REPORTS INACCURATE FACTS ABOUT ANDREW BYNUM
A false report out of nba.com’s wrapup of the Charlotte game indicated that Andrew Bynum had a “stress fracture” in his left foot that would keep him out of last night’s game in Indiana. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio and then Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wasted no time contacting the Cavaliers and reporting back that the original nba.com report was in fact an error. Lloyd further tweeted that the reporter covering for nba.com was not the usual reporter and was filling in for someone else. Needless to say, this is a major relief.
4. ANTHONY BENNETT SHOULD BE MORE AGGRESSIVE AND CRUSH PEOPLE
Anthony Bennett plays like he thinks he 5’2” and 150 pounds instead of 6’7” and 240 pounds. I don’t even have any issue at all with him taking long shots if he’s left wide open. I’ve seen him make those shots. He can be an effective shooter from the outside. But the guy is a huge, massive human being and he could be mashing people inside, taking it right at them and challenging them to be brave enough to take the charge.
Also, Bennett has a superquick first step for a big man. If a defender actually tried to body him up, he has the ability to make a move to go around them, if he didn’t feel like taking it to them and ruining their livelihood. Former 10th pick overall and current Player Developmental Coach Vitaly Potampenko has been working hard with Andrew Bynum, but maybe he should get on Bennett to be more aggressive inside forcing contact with guys that won’t want that contact and stop settling for jump shots. If Bennett turns out to be an NBA all star, it’s going to be because he crushes people. In the Pacer game, Bennett stole the ball, drove the court and then, for no real good reason, pulled up for a finger roll? Missing finger rolls is no way for a crushing giant man like Bennett to go though life.
5. MORE KYRIE IRVING ON OFFENSE WOULD BE GOOD, THANKS.
Where is Kyrie Irving? Heard on ESPN that Irving was ranked something like the 7th best player in the NBA. The opener, in which he challenged for a triple double, was solid, but where’s the guy that can explode for 40 points and take over in the 4th quarter? Because I miss that guy, but more importantly, the team misses that guy. Both the Charlotte game and the Indiana game needed that offense, and it never came. Also, after three games, the Cavs offense in ppg is ranked worst in the league. Which doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot at this point, but they can be better.