The Cleveland Cavaliers, playing hosts in their D-League arena in Canton to the Charlotte Bobcats, lost a two point halftime advantage as the Bobcats used a 32-17 third quarter to hand the Cavaliers their first preseason loss. Kyrie Irving and C.J. Miles both had game-high 15 point efforts, while undrafted signees Henry Sims and Matthew Dellavedova led the team with nine rebounds and seven assists, respectively.
While it is just preseason, there are still areas under scrutinization for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The first is Dion Waiters defensive performance. Mike Brown noted after the game that Dion has to do a better job on defense. Brown mentioned the potential Waiters has as a defender, given his athletic ability, and would like to see better play out of his two-guard. For Dion, I think its all mental, especially on the defensive end. As long as he can keep focused, something he loses at times on the court, I believe he can be a great defender and will be a great two-guard in the league someday soon. He still needs to improve his shot selection.
The post is another area where there uncertainty, obviously. With the health problems plaguing Andrew Bynum and Tyler Zeller, as well as past injuries to Anderson Varejao and Anthony Bennett, the Cleveland Cavaliers need to be deep with solid players coming off the bench. Kenny Kadji has been a bright spot here, and Henry Sims play last night was also hopeful. I really do not see a place for Desagana Diop, at least for consistent/valuable minutes. Diop has been on the decline since the ’08-’09 season, and there is really nothing that he brings to the table that the Cavaliers do not have with other players on their roster, except for being a true seven-footer (in which Andrew Bynum is the only other). Last year, averaged less than a point per contest, and shot below the .300 mark.
It is just preseason, so there is plenty time to refine any weaknesses the Cleveland Cavaliers find in their play. I am still looking forward to seeing how well Tristan Thompson’s shot will consistently fall after his switch of hand, as well as the outside jumpers’ of his front court mates Anthony Bennett and Kenny Kadji. I am also curious to see if the Cleveland Cavaliers can keep a good, consistent tempo. They averaged 104.5 in their first two games, but only managed 74 last night. I think they have the roster to move up and down quite a bit and score in the higher range. As long as the Cavs can defend well in the half court (which they didn’t do particularly well last night), as they should under Mike Brown, they will be exactly where they want to be at the end of the season.