Coming off a huge win against the D-League Select Team, the Cavaliers will turn their attention to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. The Cavs will be playing their third game in three nights. It's probably not going to be pretty. Are you guys ready for overreactions about meaningless games? I know I am. Let's do it.
Cleveland Cavaliers (1-1) vs. Phoenix Suns (1-0)
I'm sure you've all heard that Byron Scott has said that Dion Waiters is out of shape. Let me add my thoughts to that statement. Yes, he's not in great shape. He simply wasn't playing that much during the draft season and it shows. Scott said that he wants Waiters to lose 10 pounds, but it's not that simple. You want to cut some fat and add muscle. Once Waiters gets some more time with NBA training staffs and personal trainers, I think he'll slim down rather quickly. He'll regain his explosiveness, I believe. Coach Scott said yesterday that he believes the conditioning is the main reason that Waiters isn't playing so well right now. He's getting past people but isn't exploding towards the rim as much as he did in college. Similarly, he seems like he can't keep up the aggressive style of play for an entire game. He gets tired and settles for jumpers. I'm telling you right now: it's not going to be better tonight. This is their third game in a row and he's going to be more tired. I really don't expect him to bounce back in a major way tonight. It's understandable. Give it time. But then again, if you already have it in your head that Waiters was the wrong pick, I'm sure you'll continue to believe that he sucks. That's your choice.
Tristan Thompson sat last game, but he'll have a nice matchup tonight against Markieff Morris. Morris is pretty obviously Phoenix's best player in Summer League and they went to him a lot during their first game against the Knicks. Thompson didn't have a great debut on the offensive end, but he looked pretty solid defensively. He'll be tested tonight. Keep an eye on that matchup.
Tyler Zeller has been great -- but again, it's Summer League. He's torching some inferior competition and has a big advantage because he is already so polished. The Suns don't have many guys who can challenge Zeller, but Patrick O'Bryant is a big dude. Zeller's pretty skinny and might have some problems with his weight and size. If Zeller has trouble in the post, look for him to stretch it out to 15-19 feet and knock down some jumpers.
An interesting guy to keep an eye on is Michael Eric. He's a big dude with a big wingspan. Byron Scott seems to believe that he can be a useful big with shot blocking and rebounding. Obviously, he's still really raw and has a ways to go. He's a guy that could possibly make the roster considering that Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins are both gone.
I'll continue to watch Samardo Samuels (if this is the REAL Samardo Samuels). He looks like a totally different player and has some nice potential.
Kendall Marshall sat out the first game for the Suns due to some contract issues, but he's signed now. He'll start at point guard so Donald Sloan will get a pretty good test. Marshall isn't a very good defender (that's putting it lightly), so hopefully Sloan can have another strong day.
Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:
I'll give the Suns the edge here. They haven't played three nights in a row and should have some more energy. I'd love for Waiters to have a big game, but with the fatigue, I don't see it happening. Suns win by a final score of 81-70.