I was fortunate enough to attend to the preseason game against the 76ers last night. Several things stood out:
- Henry Sims has a knack for collecting garbage points. This is a skill that is not as common as you may think. Tristan Thompson, for example, loses a ton of opportunities on put backs because he takes a second to gather himself and then double pumps about six times. Sims seems able to put himself in position for offensive rebounds and gets open on the weak side when Kyrie penetrates. I would expect Sims to be a productive part of the offense if he gets significant playing time. His defense, however, is weak. Spencer Hawes, not exactly an offensive force, pretty much had his way with Sims.
- Jermaine Taylor is not an NBA player. He has a playground style that looks like he’s doing a lot but seldom produces anything. I know the Cavs are reluctant to cut anyone until some guys are healthy, but there has to be someone who needs playing time ahead of Taylor.
- Anthony Bennett can’t set a screen to save his life. I also noticed that he was really gasping for air when he lined up for free throws. It is hard to see him getting more than 10-15 minutes a night until he builds up some stamina. He has enough of a game, though, that you can see him scoring twenty a game easily when he puts it all together.
- Kyrie had a couple of drives to the basket that were nothing short of brilliant. He also had a prolonged stretch in the third quarter where he let things get sloppy.
- Matthew Dellavedova never looked overmatched, no matter who was guarding him. He can make jump shots, protect the ball, and run the halfcourt offense. That’s about all you can ask from a third-string point guard.
- I just love to watch Sergey Karasev shoot.
- If Alonzo Gee is the starting small forward for the bulk of the season, it will make me sad. I know he has a reputation for doing all the little things, but in order to make the playoffs, you also need to do the big things. Personally, I don’t think the small forwards around the NBA are dreading the nights they will be guarded by Alonzo Gee.
- The Cavs need to find a way to get C.J. Miles on the floor for 15-20 minutes a night. Part of the reason Miles stood out last night was that Dion, Jarrett Jack, and Earl Clark all sat out, so the outside shooting was dismal, but C.J. Miles brings an element to the team similar to what a really fast wide receiver brings to a football team, because defenses need to account for him all the time. He seems to be able to explode for points without forcing shots. With so many young players, the Cavs will need that at times this year, and the only way to get it is to keep playing him.
- Everything that happened tonight needs to be put in the context that the 76ers are a really bad basketball team. Michael Carter-Williams, their top draft pick, made Bennett look like a 10-year veteran. Royce White and Daniel Orton just looked plain awkward. As far as I can tell, these guys will all be logging serious minutes this year, so let the tanking begin.