The 2011-2012 season will be Christian Eyenga’s second in NBA. And the Cleveland Cavaliers will be expecting the young man from the Congo to make an impact this season. John Hollinger of ESPN listed him on his “All 2012 Break-Out Team” earlier this year. He has certainly been a surprise, considering the criticism the Cavaliers organization took upon drafting him, while passing on players like DeJaun Blair. But he certainly has become a fan favorite with his high energy and ecstatic dunks. But can “Skyenga” take his game to new heights this season?
Eyenga’s greatest strength is his athletic ability.
He has incredible speed and jumping ability. It’s a lot of fun to watch Eyenga run in the open floor. It’s even more fun to watch him attack the basket. He drives to the rim with authority and slams the ball through the net with one or two hands. He’s also become a solid rebounder. He uses his long arms to try and snag a rebound away on both ends of the floor. He also is developing into a pretty good one on one defender. He can get a hand on the ball and force a steal, which can lead to one of his popular fast break dunks.
There is no doubt that all of that is exciting to see. But Eyenga needs to work on the rest of his offensive game as well. He will not get the chance to slam dunk the ball every time down the floor. He needs to learn to step back and take a jump shot with both ease and confidence. At times last season, he showed the ability to take a good jump shot. He also showed the ability to take some pretty terrible jump shots at other times. If he can learn how to make a jump shot, then he certainly can take his game to the next level.
Let’s hope Eyenga can do what is expected of him this season. The Cavs, like the Browns, will be starting a very young team. They will be looking for young energy to put a spark back into a team that fell off the face of the earth after the departure of LeBron. As the Cavs begin now to rebuild, with draft picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson already in place, players will have to earn their spots on the Cavs roster going forward. And if Christian can elevate his game, he could be a valuable piece going forward.