Another day, another fun, albeit meaningless victory for your Cleveland Cavaliers. After a slow start to the game, the Cavaliers came storming back. After a slow start to his career, Anthony Bennett (henceforth known only as Big Daddy Canada, or BIGDADDYCANADA!) exploded in the 4th quarter. Stuck on a 4.5 hour drive home, I got to listen to the Cavs Radio Broadcast, which was pretty great, and then caught up on the DVR later.
Halfway through the game, I tweeted that the effort was more important than the result, and we ended up with both being good. After initially coming out sluggish on D (The Cavs practiced Friday AM), The Cavs came out after halftime and turned the pressure up on the Magic the way they did in Milwaukee, and as a certain Mr. Cavalier is prone to tell you, pressure does in fact burst the pipes. The Magic, who came out shooting a ridiculous and unsustainable % from the field, crumbled and the Cavaliers were able to steal a victory after being down as much as 18.
Cool Stuff-Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson were again incredibly impressive. As project picks that needed their work ethics to translate for this team to take the next step, they have been a great sight this offseason and so far in preseason. Dion led the Cavs with 21 points, and frequently displayed the ability to get the rim at will on Aaron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo. Thompson had 14 points and 8 rebounds, and was 6/10 from the FT line.
-Big Daddy Canada continued a strong effort on the glass, and the boards, finally had his offense come around. Bennett hasn't been shy about putting anyone on their butt so far, and it's great to see. His shot selection wasn't great in the fourth, but hey, like Dion said on his postgame interview: "He's a shooter, he can shoot". Besides, if you have that guy that can hit bad shots and get hot at any time, Kyrie, Dion, and Tristan? That's pretty sweet.
-Earl Clark was a tire fire on offense, but was +6 overall and his length and energy still effected the glass and defensive end. If his ceiling is a taller Alonzo Gee, we're still better off than we were before.
-Sergey Karasev and Cj Miles hitting shots is a beautiful thing.
-I got through a whole recap and didn't feel the need to mention Andy. That doesn't mean Andy is bad, it just means that other guys are playing well enough that a solid night from him is finally not the only bright spot. Sweet!
Life on the Roster Bubble
-Matt Dellavadova played 6 minutes with 2 points, 2 rebounds, and a steal. Elliot Williams was a DNP CD. Kenny Kadji was dominated by Nicola Vucevic on his way to 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 block and 3 fouls in 9 minutes. He was 0-3 from the field but 4-4 from the line. Henry Sims played 16 minutes, with 4 points, 2 steals, and a rebound. He made a 15 foot jumper that looked nice. As you know my picks are Williams and Sims, but that's just me.
-Finally we acknowledge the caveat that it is just a preseason game, against a second straight terrible team, but we take the signs of progress wherever we can get them around here, and it's a whole lot better than losing to teams you should be beating in any format. The efforts were all what we wanted to see, particularly after coming out so slowly before the half. The Cavaliers continue the INCREDIBLY TOUGH preseason schedule against the Charlotte Bobcats in Canton on Tuesday October 15th. Al Jefferson was just lost to a sprained ankle, so another game of comparing young guys is in store. Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyambo, Cody Zeller, and MKG headline the Bobcats.