The Summer Cavs put a pretty thorough beating on the Summer Bucks at Thomas & Mack last night, setting a good baseline for the summer since nobody played that poorly overall.
The Cavs were led by 12 points from Edy Tavares, 11 from Andrew White, and 10 from Kay Felder. Forward Roosevelt Jones led the team in raw +/- with +29 off the bench. The Bucks got the same point totals from Rashad Vaughn, D.J. Wilson, and Gary Payton II, respectively.
Appreciating Tavares is a matter of appreciating the result more than the process to get there. Tavares plays hard constantly, but it can be painful to watch. He has a really short stride for someone so big, and is incredibly physical. His style around the hoop is more brutish than coordinated. But, in the end he played really well after a terrible start to the game. He finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, a block and was incredibly effective defending Thon Maker on the interior, helped by the fact that Maker shot only 1-5 on his mostly open threes.
Jones leading the team in +/- was no accident. He’s a tough defender and has a nose for the ball. I don’t know if he translates to an NBA skillset, but he can play. The Cavs had 21 points in transition and Jones was a major part of that, grabbing seven defensive rebounds and leading the team into the break with the handling and passing ability to make the right decision once they got over half court. He also had three offensive rebounds to finish with three points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
One of our players to watch with an NBA body and game, White did not disappoint. He shot 4-7 from the field and 2-4 from three, and was pretty solid defensively. Odds are long that any non-rostered Cavs can make the team from this game but he definitely has game.
Paul had a decent game overall but was bad from the field. He can handle is a a heady, physical defender that flashed some good athleticism. He bears watching going forward.
Gill is a good rebounder and was pretty good defensively, as most of the team was. I don’t know if he has anything that strongly translates to the NBA.
Prather jumps out of the gym and made some good plays defensively. He was miserable from the floor shooting 2-8 overall and 1-3 from three. He has an NBA body and athleticism, there might be something to watch here.
I’m officially worried about Felder. He’s got a wonderful attitude and you can easily see how hard he works. He effortlessly shakes his man, has good vision, and has fast hands and good instincts on defense. He finished with a steal and two blocks.
So why is he here when he was decent overall? I’m getting really worried about his offense. He was 0-6 from three, and the open lanes he created with his hyper-quick first step didn’t result in made buckets. He shot 2-11 from the field, and struggles with length still. his NBA potential rests on being a good offensive player, and he is struggling to get there. Being a three-point threat will unlock the rest of his game. Here’s to hoping we see that as the summer goes on.
Pointer got 5 minutes and didn’t stand out. This is the third year for the one time project, and it doesn’t seem like that’s coming to fruition.