Grading all Cleveland Cavaliers players from preseason loss to Hawks

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are back. After nearly six months without a Cavaliers game, the team took the court Tuesday night in their preseason opener against the Atlanta Hawks. It was the perfect opportunity to see how the team had evolved since the last time they took the court.

There were newcomers to watch, with four offseason additions wearing the wine and gold for the first time. Max Strus, Georges Niang, Ty Jerome and Damian Jones all saw their first action as Cavaliers, with Strus starting and the other three all coming in off the bench as part of the second unit.

The team also unveiled a new offensive approach, pushing the ball in transition and moving more of their shots beyond the arc; that’s something that you can do when you add shooters like Strus and Niang. They moved away from last season’s steady diet of pick-and-roll offense and had more movement and cutting, ultimately taking 48 3-pointers.

The Cavaliers lost to the Hawks

Ultimately the Cavaliers lost the game 108-107 as their end-of-roster players gave up a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. Emoni Bates also proved the hero, hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Trent Forrest drove into the paint on the other end for the Hawks for a game-ending and-1 finish with only a second remaining.

Wins and losses don’t matter as much in the preseason, but individual player performances do. How did each member of the Cavaliers play on Tuesday night? Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of all 17 Cavaliers to see the court.