After a long and unpredictable summer, basketball was finally back at Quicken Loans Arena. While it was still just a scrimmage, the new look Cavs showed off their newly acquired athleticism and up tempo look for those in attendance.
The game started off with Derrick Rose, J.R. Smith, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder and Kevin Love taking on Jose Calderon, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green, and Tristan Thompson. Although Wade confirmed what Heat fans have complained about this summer by being a “trader” and switching sides in the middle of the game.
At this point I’m going to assume that there’s little to no interest in play by play commentary or breakdown of the action. So let’s dive into some observations from the game:
- We’ve seen the Cavs try to play up-tempo in the past, only to have them revert to a slower pace as the season progressed. With improved depth and a lot of athletes that like to run the floor, it looks like the team is going to give that another go. There wasn’t a lot of standing around and watching as most of the sets they ran involved constant motion. Whenever there was a turnover it was clear that the emphasis was to get out and run. While the team will likely still heavily rely on a drive and kick game centered around LeBron, it’ll be interesting to see how they look when other players are initiating the offense.
- Speaking of running, Derrick Rose looked very fast. This isn’t exactly news, as he looked athletic for most of last season. But it was striking to see just how explosive he can be at times when he decides to get to the rim.
- It’s still very weird to see Wade in a Cavs jersey. The veteran guard clearly was coasting for most of the scrimmage, but he did show a few bursts of athleticism as well as his vision as a passer. Earning himself a fan along the way:
Thompson is excited to be paired with D Wade at the point. “I haven’t had a lob since Delly.”— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) October 3, 2017
- Ante Zizic has a lot of polish for a 20-year-old. He’s decisive when he gets the basketball and makes cuts with a purpose. With Love and Thompson getting most of the center minutes for the Cavs there likely won’t be a lot of opportunity for him. But it’s not hard to picture him giving the team solid minutes should he be called upon.
- After watching Jose Calderon take care of the basketball, not force anything, and knock down shots did the thought cross my mind of what the team would look like with him in place of Deron Williams last season? I’ll never tell.
- It’s easy to forget about Kyle Korver after all the moves the team made this summer, but he is simply unfair as a shooter. He appears to be in great shape and he just doesn’t miss open shots.
- I was disappointed that Cedi Osman did not play as a result of back spasms. But I guess Lue decided to rest both of their superstar small forwards for this event.
The Cavs play next on Wednesday when they take on the remains of the Atlanta Hawks. It’ll be interesting to see if the Cavs maintain the uptempo style they displayed in the scrimmage. As well as what type of offense Tyronn Lue looks to run with Love at center.