On Jan. 31, Brandon Goodwin poured in 12 points in the fourth quarter to lead a comeback over the New Orleans Pelicans at Rocket Mortgage. Eight days later, he’s playing in front of what feels like a few hundred fans a couple blocks away at the Wolstein Center.
“I don’t know if they even wanted me to come down and play. I asked them if I could come down and play just to get some run in,” said Goodwin after Tuesday’s Cleveland Charge game. “I just wanted to come down here and keep my rhythm. Have fun. And keep getting in shape for when I go back up top to play. It’s easy and accessible to be able to come down here and get some run.”
That accessibility allows Goodwin to easily transition from playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers to getting extra work in the G League. It also allows Darius Garland and Rajon Rondo to keep tabs on Goodwin and the rest of the Charge from their courtside seat.
“Every time I look over there they’re going to give me a word of advice. Encouragement. Something I should do better. I love having those guys come and watch and coach me up,” said Goodwin afterwards.
“Just being able to help your teammate out. That’s part of being a leader. Watching them [Garland and Rondo], talking to them is helping me a lot. I continue to piggyback off of the things that they say and just keep getting better.”
Becoming a better leader is one of the things Goodwin is working on during his time with the Charge saying, “I’m trying to be more vocal. More of a leader for the team.” Being able to learn from veterans on the team and then apply that in a lower stakes setting with them watching can be invaluable.
Garland and Rondo are far from the only Cavaliers who keep close tabs on what the Charge are doing. Attend a game and Cavs players are often there if the team is in town.
“It’s a testament to where JB [Bickerstaff] got this thing,” said Charge head coach Dan Geriot when asked about the Cavs support. “It’s a testament to where our program is headed. The reason we came to Cleveland from Canton is for opportunities like this. Guys are playing high minutes here from the Cavs and on two-way contracts. Then you see six or seven Cavaliers in the building. It’s a testament to the togetherness.”
Goodwin isn’t the only one making the most of the opportunity as we’ve seen Dylan Windler also make multiple appearances for the Charge this season including Tuesday’s game against the Raptors 905.
Goodwin and Windler didn’t share the court much on Tuesday but they did produce the highlight of the evening. Goodwin attacked the paint in transition which forced the defense to collapse. Instead of forcing something at the rim, Goodwin slung a behind the back pass to Windler in the corner who then pump faked the close out defender before sidestepping and knocking down the open three.
The opportunity for guys like Goodwin and Windler to develop on-court chemistry in a live game on a Tuesday and then take the court for the Cavs the following night is an invaluable tool.
Whether it’s a mid-season signing like Goodwin who wants the extra reps or it’s a young All-Star like Garland who is acting out what it means to be a leader, the Cavs have created a support system with the Charge that allows every man on the roster to work on being the best version of themselves.