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Random observations from Wine and Gold Scrimmage.


Got into a Season Ticket Plan for the first time in years, so I decided to make a spontaneous visit to catch an early glimpse of our new Cavs. Given that this was simply a scrimmage following an organized practice session, this is by NO MEANS an attempt to evaluate anything or anybody, simply my observations following an enjoyable afternoon:

Tacko Fall wears a constant smile, and was a source of awe and amazement by every youngster within shouting distance of my seat. I don't expect him to make the opening day roster or make much of an impact, but you can see why he is a crowd favorite wherever he plays.

Even among a group of world class athletes, Isaac Okoro somehow stands out in a crowd. He is chiseled from the calves on up, and came out wearing a practice jersey hung around neck like a superhero's cape, which seems fitting. He comes across like he takes his job serious but also seems to have fun.

Lauri Markkanen and another young player who I'm guessing was Kyle Guy (no, they never introduced the players but did conduct several annoying interviews with coaches while the scrimmage was in process... which NOBODY cared or was paying attention to) were inseparable, talking and cajoling constantly. Even during calisthenics. Assuming this was Guy, this will be good for Lauri to have such a friend nearby given that the Charge has moved to downtown Cleveland. Lauri appeared relaxed and comfortable, and I was curious to see how he'd play.

And WOW did he light it up. He got his squad out to a big lead with a barrage of three's and several easy baskets. It was only when he came back into the game that he missed a shot.... a nice Mobley block when Markkaned tried to take it inside.

Mobley came across as everything advertised. No big numbers but very smooth. He was matched against Allen and you can clearly see his skill set. I know some have compared his style to Chris Bosh but I also see a bit of Tim Duncan. Like a guy who just goes about his business, makes his team better, you almost don't notice but then look at the box score and see 20-10 with blocks and assists. It's going to be fun to watch his development.

Colin had a tough shooting day. First shot blocked by Okoro, second by Mobley, and then the floaters just weren't falling. When he finally hit a 3 you could see the look of relief. That said, it was clear he and others were very much in scrimmage vs. game mode. By the end of each quarter, the game resembled more an all star format with no defense and wide open dunks. The important thing is nobody got hurt (I don't think), the players had fun, and the fans were entertained.

Oh, one more thing, Coach Bickerstaff was the only one out there injured, hobbling around in crutches. It's obvious he's very much in control of his team. The practice leading up to the scrimmage was well organized and efficient, players knowing exactly how to transition from one drill to the next. And the coach offering encouragement. I'm sure the team is ready to go up against new faces and so are we the fans. Let the season begin. .


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