After taking out the Los Angeles Lakers in their first Summer League game, the Cavs are squaring off the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Since Las Vegas Summer League has turned into a tournament at the end of the week this year, every win is vital. Can the Cavs improve to 2-0 today? Let's see.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Where? 8:00 PM Eastern
Where? Cox Pavilion -- Las Vegas, NV
Where on my eyeballs? NBATV/ Summer League Pass
Tickets? Nah, you chill.
Enemy/brother blog? Grizzly Bear Blues
What should we be watching for today?
Once again, all of the focus will be on Dion Waiters. He didn't play very well in Friday's win over the Lakers and he's likely the most talented player on either team again today. He really needs to adjust to the increased attention that opposing defensives pay him in Summer League. The Lakers swarmed anytime Waiters even thought about going into the paint. If the Grizzlies are smart, they'll do the same thing. It's up to Waiters to recognize this and make the smart passes instead of forcing low percentage shots.
Tyler Zeller told me after Friday's game that he put on roughly 25 pounds during the offseason. If that's true, I want to see him utilize it. I understand that it probably takes some time to get used to playing at a different weight, but it should really be a useful asset for him. He got pushed around too often by NBA centers last season. Now, in Summer League, he should be one of the biggest guys on the court in any given game. Let's see him use his new strength and take control of the paint instead of simply settling for outside jumpers.
I wrote about Carrick Felix after the Cavs' first game and I really hope that we see more of the same tonight. His relentless energy and crazy athleticism make him a really fun player to watch. I'd like to see him continue to test his shooting range on NBA three-pointers.
Kevin Jones didn't get off the bench in the game against the Lakers. Hopefully he gets a chance to play today.
Who is on the Memphis Grizzlies' Summer League team?
Former Cleveland Cavaliers legend, Jon Leuer is the biggest name on the Grizzlies roster. Unfortunately, he rolled an ankle during a recent practice and it's unclear whether or not he will be able to play this week. Miss u, Jon Leuer.
The Grizzlies also have Tony Wroten, one of their draft picks from the 2012 NBA Draft. Similarly, they have Sam Vecenie's best friend, Jamaal Franklin. Franklin was the guy that Sam believed the Cavs should have selected instead of Carrick Felix. I look forward to seeing Felix make Sam look dumb.
Perhaps the two most interesting undrafted free agents on Memphis' team are Vander Blue and Jack Cooley. Both had fairly successful college careers, but saw 60 picks come and go without hearing their names on draft night. Blue is a really interesting guy. He makes some truly terrible decisions on the basketball court, but he's a super athlete and has good size for a guard. Cooley could end up carving out a role in the NBA as an energy/rebounding guy off the bench. Along with Wroten and Franklin, these are probably the two players on the Grizzlies that I'm most interesting in seeing.
Who should I talk to after tonight's game?
Since I'm in Las Vegas and have credentials for Summer League, I want to talk to the players that you guys are interested in. You can let me know as the game goes on, but if there's a certain (appropriate) question that you'd like me to ask someone on either team, let me know and I'll do my best to find out for you.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction
I'm expecting a bounce-back game from Waiters. Maybe I'm just hopelessly optimistic, but I think he's going to have a much better showing than last time out. Cavs improve to 2-0 with a 77-69 win over Memphis.