The Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated Anthony Bennett’s birthday by ending their six-game losing streak against the Golden State Warriors. Bennett, who turned 21 yesterday, was unable to contribute to the Cavs 18-point comeback in Oakland.
Last Saturday when the Cavs played the New York Knicks, Bennett went down with a knee injury after only playing eight minutes. An MRI showed a strain to his left patellar tendon. Bennett’s expected recovery time is three weeks. Although there would still be time for him to come back, is it possible we have seen the last of Bennett’s rookie campaign?
The team only has four and a half weeks left of regular season basketball to be played. It is possible the team can make the playoffs, but not without a lot of luck. If after three weeks the Cavs are still on the outside of the playoff picture, it looks Bennett’s season will end early.
This means it is time to look back on this Toronto native’s crazy ride that started back in June.
June 27, 2013 –
To the surprise of everyone around the league, the Cavs drafted the power forward out of UNLV number one. Bennett in one season at UNLV averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds. The Cleveland front office, known for making surprising picks as of late, had been scouting the big man all year long and fell in love with his game and character. The Cavs knew this pick was risky, as Bennett recently had shoulder surgery on his torn rotator cuff.
October 17, 2013 –
Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown informed the media that Bennett has asthma and sleep apnea. Bennett becomes winded easily during workouts, resulting in him coming into the season overweight.
October 30, 2013 –
In his regular season debut, Bennett went scoreless from the field in 15 minutes of play. He attempted five field goals and made none. He did go two for four from the free throw line and grabbed five rebounds.
November 6, 2013 –
Five games into the season, Bennett recorded his first field goal. Bennett in 12 minutes of play went one for five from the field. After four games of failing to score, Bennett became the subject of many media reports mocking his poor play.
January 6, 2014 –
The Cavaliers traded for Luol Deng, who plays the same position as Bennett. As a result from Jan. 14 to 22, Bennett went on a five game stretch where he received zero minutes of playing time.
February 11, 2014 –
Bennett records his first double-double during a Cavaliers’ win against the Sacramento Kings. He posted career highs in both scoring and rebounding with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The number one pick was playing with a smile and finally showing signs of why the team picked him.
February 28, 2014 –
Bennett was sidelined due to a sore right knee against the Utah Jazz. Three other Cavaliers did not play due to injuries on this night including center Anderson Varejao, guard Dion Waiters, and guard C.J. Miles.
March 8, 2014 –
Strained his left patellar tendon and is expected to be out three weeks.
Clearly, Bennett’s rookie season has been one wild ride and seen more speed bumps than he would probably like. Bennett went from the surprise first pick to the subject of many jokes around the league to a solid rotation player. If he can stay injury free, Bennett looks like he can become a good but not great NBA player.