The Cavaliers lost to the Raptors in their regular season finale in a relatively low-stakes game while resting their three stars in LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The extra minutes opened up by the rest afforded an opportunity to new Cavalier Edy Tavares, a 7’3 center that was among the best defensive players in the D-League this season.
Tavares flashed his defensive prowess against the Raptors bench, blocking six shots in just 24 minutes.
The six blocks were the most in a game for a Cavalier since Zydrunas Ilgauskas hit that number all the way back on November 16, 2007, so even if this was garbage time, accomplishing a feat no Cavalier had accomplished in just under a decade was more than impressive.
It’s obviously super unlikely that the Cavaliers will ask anything of Tavares in this postseason, though his size provides a different look than the rest of the Cavaliers big men. He looked solid in his Cavs debut, moving smartly on defense and cleaning the boards to the tune of 10 rebounds.
He doesn’t run super fluidly, or at least, he didn’t in his debut, and he certainly wouldn’t be mistaken for an elite athlete. That said, with a 7’9 wingspan and a big frame, you don’t always need to be the springiest guy on the court, and Tavares showed what he might be able to bring to the team in limited time.