With media day and the first day of training camp there has been plenty to get caught up on regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers. It's easy to miss something with so much new information coming out by the minute, so here is some of the best from the first two days since the Cavs got back to work.
ESPN's Dave McMenamin wrote about LeBron James handing over the reins to Kyrie Irving. One of the biggest questions surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers revolved around how Kyrie Irving would react to LeBron being the primary ball handler, something that both of them have been throughout their entire careers. But it appears that LeBron does not feel as though that will be the case:
I'll probably handle the ball a little bit, but this is Kyrie [Irving's] show... He's our point guard. He's our floor general, and we need him to put us in position to succeed offensively. He has to demand that and command that from us with him handling the ball.
While Irving hasn't been thought of as a pure point guard throughout his career, it is clearly something that he feels comes naturally to him. Irving addressed this issue on media day talking about the change in role that he will experience:
I only did the scoring because I was asked to do it, I mean... I had to do it for us to be in the best possible position to win and changing my role, it's not necessarily changing. I'm going to continue to be myself. But now that we have other great players, it just creates more space and opportunities to make other people better. And that's how I look at it, as an opportunity for me to grow as a player and as a point guard and become who I feel I'm destined to be. And that's a complete point guard.
So that's fairly exciting to hear, as Kyrie with the ball in his hands is one of the most electrifying things in basketball. We've certainly seen him play as a pure point guard whenever he was playing with Team USA as well as during his two All Star appearances. It's clear the LeBron feels as though Irving is more than capable of playing that role and trusts him enough to let him run the offense. Off-ball James is something we have not seen much of throughout his career, but it's fair to assume that he will continue to command the lion's share of the attention from the defense. His basketball IQ has always been off the charts, so there can't be much doubt that he will continue to be an absolute terror on the court.
Cavs guard Dion Waiters expressed a desire to play more point guard on media day. Waiters has shown brief flashed of play-making ability in his first two seasons, but without the presence of an established backup point guard, it appears as though Waiters could see himself helping out in that role:
I'd love to play point guard... I would love the opportunity if coach gave me a shot at that, I would love to take on the full commitment to that because I think I could play the one also.
Over the time I played point guard, I excelled.
While Waiters may have some more point guard in mind, it does not appear as though David Blatt cares about traditional positions and their definitions.
"I don’t pay a lot of attention to position definitions so If Dion wants to call himself a PG for a day, that’s fine with me" -David Blatt— Conrad Kaczmarek (@ConradKazNBA) September 27, 2014
It's clear the David Blatt will remain one of the best quotes in the NBA throughout the season. Blatt's dismissal of traditional positions and their definition is likely great news for anyone that enjoys innovative basketball. The Cavs are full of players that possess play-making ability in Irving, James, Waiters, Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion, Matthew Dellavedova and even Tristan Thompson to some extent. With that kind of talent placed into a motion offense that puts emphasis on making the extra pass the Cavaliers should be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams to game-plan for.
If that's not enough for you to get excited, this should do it:
LeBron James after Day 1 of camp: "I've never player with a point guard like Kyrie Irving." #cavs— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) September 27, 2014
Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico wrote about the first day of training camp. It is clear that everybody there is excited about the collection of talent that has been put together by David Griffin. Perhaps none are more excited than Kevin Love, who's suffered from a lack of supporting cast throughout his entire career. Love had this to say about his new teammates:
It was a good day... We have a lot of guys who know how to play basketball, (who are) very unselfish by nature.
The one thing that was crystal clear after the first day of camp is that Blatt has full control and attention from his roster:
"He looks very poised, very ready to lead us," Love said of Blatt.
Added James, "He doesn't like to repeat himself too much."
"He knows what he stands for," James said. "He knows what he's here to do and that's to lead us and win ballgames and that's all that should matter."
While all of this is incredibly exciting, it's also frustrating that we have to wait until October 5th until we get to see this team in action. The Cavs will take on Tel Aviv at 6 p.m. next Sunday. Until then, we will need to survive off exciting reports from practice.