The Point Four-ward: Harris-tanbul (Not Constantinople)

joe_harris_starting

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers in Summer League…

1.) It sure was nice to see Joe Harris finally shake off… well, whatever he had to shake off in order to get the ball to go in the hoop. Harris “exploded” for 13 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime, as the Cavs Summer League team clawed its way back from a 21-point deficit to notch a 94-87 OT victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Harris had been a combined 4-20 from the field (1-9 from three) through the Cavs first two Summer League contests, so seeing him nail 4-8 from deep against the Bucks seemed to indicate that the second year swingman out of Virginia can actually do what the Cavs will need him to do if he is ever going to crack the regular season rotation.

It wasn’t just Harris’ shot that gave Cavs fans so little to hope for when thinking about the future of the team’s 2014 second round pick. He was also a -12 and -14 respectively in his first two games before leading the team with a +21 in Monday’s match-up.

2.) Regarding Harris, Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Chis Haynes reported the following:

General Manager David Griffin isn’t too worried about Harris’ shooting woes as he’s here to work on his all-around game. He has shown that his ball-handling skills and decision-making has improved, so it hasn’t been a complete disaster.

While common practice is to think that anyone who can even sniff an NBA roster spot should be able to dominate Summer League, there are plenty of stories of Summer League stars who could never translate that success onto the parent teams, and there are players whose games just don’t really jive with the way most Summer League games are played.

Also, there is a difference between players who have guaranteed contracts for next year and those who don’t. Harris is under contract for the 2015-16 season with a team option for the following year, so there are ways in which he can worry about working on his “all-around game” while other players need their skill sets to shine on the court to tempt and tantalize GMs around the league, as well as abroad.

3.) I remember watching Tristan Thompson play in the Las Vegas Summer League back in 2012 and wishing I’d seen a bit more from a player that the Cavs would be counting on in the 2012-13 season. In four games, he averaged 10 points and 3.8 boards in just under 16 minutes a game. He played over 20 minutes a game in the team’s two losses, but only averaged 9 minutes a game in the team’s wins. Offensively, he looked effective shooting 60% from the floor (only 50% from the free throw line), but he often got caught giving up deep position while defending the post, and he wasn’t exactly dominant on the boards either. For what it’s worth, Rakeem Christmas is currently averaging more boards (5.3) per Summer League contest than future double-double machine Thompson did back in 2012.

Thompson wasn’t bad in 2012. He just didn’t seem to be as good as Cavs fans thought he should look after playing big minutes during his first pro season.

Needless to say, the 2012-13 Cavs were relying on Thompson’s development a whole lot more than the 2015-16 version is relying on Harris. No one’s predicting Harris to be contemplating a near-max contract in two years (as Thompson is now), but it’s just to say that the microscope of Summer League isn’t always without its distortions. Role players tend to get overshadowed by point guards and guys who can get their own shots. Harris, meanwhile, wasn’t even the primary scoring option on his team at Virginia. So, while he hasn’t necessarily given Cavs fans reason to go out and get his face tattooed on their legs just yet, there’s still no clear evidence that a little extra patience now could well pay off down the road.

4.) In non-Harris news, one of Christmas’ skills that looks like it could be as good as advertised is his free throw shooting. Over the first three games, Christmas is shooting 67% from the charity stripe — which won’t exactly conjure up memories of Mark Price seamlessly hitting freebies — but he’s getting to the line an average of eight times a game, and shooting well enough to make teams pay for putting him there. Against the Bucks, Christmas scored all eight of his points at the line (going 8-12) while also grabbing 11 rebounds.

Against Brooklyn on Saturday, Christmas blocked four shots.

He’ll need to get stronger in order to be a consistent high-motor banger type, but he has clear transferable skills going from college to the pros. Hopefully, the Cavs will start scoring a little easier, and we’ll get to talk about a few more games in the Summer League tournament before the Cavs time in Vegas comes to a close.

The Summer League tournament begins Wednesday. As I’m typing this, the Cavs opponent is the always feisty TBD.

 

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Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

CAVS should’ve drafted one of the Harrison Bros.

Joey B
Guest
Joey B
3 years 7 months ago

Cavs could have drafted my grandma. She’ll get as much playing time as anyone else. Any draft pick, including Mighty Joe, for the next 3-4 years are lottery tickets for the future. if 2 out of 8 pan out, we’re golden.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

Sounds like D’Angelo Russell has struggled for the Lakers.

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

I watched D Russell for a few games…. I think he’s legit. I’ve seen on a number of occasions where his teammates didn’t read the play properly and he would “pass a player open” and they didn’t anticipate it. I think he’ll be a good one.

As for his performance in the most recent game(s), I venture to guess it’s fatigue.

I was very skeptical about him, and I can’t stand OSU, but he has shown he’s the real deal from what little I’ve seen. Both of the games I’ve seen, he was the best player on the court for the Lakers (against MIN and PHI I believe).

DaveR
Guest
DaveR
3 years 7 months ago

I definitely think he is legit. His passing is real. I agree with CLF. On OSU he could anticipate his players moving to spots (just check some highlights) but when you are playing pickup ball with a bunch of scrubs those passes don’t translate. Good move for the Lakers headed into a post-Kobe era soon.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

I’m watching Portland vs Minnesota and I like what I see from pat connaughton. Seems like a solid rotational piece for Portland.

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

Glad you’re on board with ConnaughTRON, Arch!!! I think he’ll be a more than adequate NBA 3 and D player over time.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

But the “Bulls” push it back out to 18 behind McBuckets and Portis (who both look like they could help the real Bulls this year)

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

Agreed… Portis looks like a baller. Biggest surprise about him is his shooting range.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

“Cavs” close it from 20 point lead down to 11 with just under 6 mins to play…

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

I’m not sure how they select ESPY awards but it almost seems like a lottery.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

Anyone else find Kristen Ledlow kind of annoying?

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

Anyone know where to find the CAVS summer league game? It’s not on NBATV.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

I unfortunately spent the $5 to watch on-line…

burningfive

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

If the CAVS had a promising first rounder like last year I might pay the $5 for the app. Unfortunately Christmas, Porter and Harris doesn’t make me want to spend the $.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Not to mention that neither Harris nor Christmas is playing tonight…

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
3 years 7 months ago

Why in the world not? Maybe they don’t need the reps?

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

It’s usually for rest… all of the teams have been resting their “important” players. It’s because there are a lot of back-to-back games… 3 in 4, 4 in 5…. that sort of thing.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

No idea… they didn’t really explain it

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah it looks pretty ugly.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
3 years 7 months ago

Cavs up 8/7. I am predicting the title!

NOMAD
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NOMAD
3 years 7 months ago

SUMMER LEAGUE IN LAS VEGAS FULL OF ” SUMMER MIRAGES ” DON’T GET MISLEAD BY SUMMER STATS —-CHECK OUT DEANGELLO RUSSELL( # 2 PICK ) IS HAVING A MEDIOCRE SUMMER LEAGUE SO SHOULD THE LAKERS DROP HIM RIGHT AWAY —–GO GRAB A ” COOL ONE ” AND JUST CHILL A LITTLE !!

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

LeBron James wins the 'Best Championship Performance' award. #ESPYS pic.twitter.com/6QhVzvkNJd

— Karεn Ciѵil (@KarenCivil) July 16, 2015

DaveR
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DaveR
3 years 7 months ago

Steph be like

DellaveYoda
Guest
DellaveYoda
3 years 7 months ago

I think Delly is just waiting to announce his contract @ the ESPY’s

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Super duper bummed the Cavs passed on R.J. Hunter. He’s already a better player than Harris.

http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/basketball/rj-hunter-gets-pro-career-going-with-huge-3-pointe/nmzDp/

Charlie E
Guest
Charlie E
3 years 7 months ago

Hunter does look pretty good. I think you might be right on this one, Nate.

I’m not sure Joe Harris is good enough at any one thing to make it in the NBA. We’ll see, lots of summer left to improve.

Joey B
Guest
Joey B
3 years 7 months ago

Nothing like 3 games of summer league to close the book on a player.

DellaveYoda
Guest
DellaveYoda
3 years 7 months ago

Or a year and 3 games for Joe.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

HAHAHA I’m not a big Joe Harris believer. Sue me. And I like Hunter.

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

How can you turn your back on Smokin’ Joe, Nate?! (faux outrage) If we’re judging by summer league, how about Mighty Joe or ConnaughTRON??? Mighty Joe is averaging 22.5ppg with shooting splits of 50/45/79. ConnaughTRON averaging 9.3ppg/5.7 rpg/1.3spg with shooting splits of 42/42/33. Obviously ConnaughTRON needs to make his free throws… but these guys can shoot the ball!

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

BTW, the Cavs could’ve had BOTH Mighty Joe and ConnaughTRON with their 2nd round picks!

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

HAHAHA… well played, Joey B.

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago
Glad to see an article on Smokin’ Joe, Robert! It’s really hard to assess guys in Summer League because these guys have never played ball together… and most likely never will again after the few weeks are up. If there was something disappointing about Harris, it would be that his dribble drive game isn’t as effective as it was in UVA. He was a do-it-all offensive player at UVA, and I’d like to see him show a counter-move to the 3pt shot for the Cavs. One thing I would point out, contrary to your point re: Harris, it’s that Harris was most definitely the primary scorer for UVA for at least 2 seasons ’12-’13 and ’13-’14. As a Duke fan who keeps up with ACC basketball, Joe Harris was one of the premier offensive threats during his whole time at UVA. He was the guy teams planned to shut down if they wanted to defend UVA. The whole offense revolved around him because of his ability to shoot and put the ball on the floor. He never averaged less than double digits scoring, and was never less than the 3rd leading scorer on the team his whole career @UVA. For… Read more »
Tom
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Tom
3 years 7 months ago

He seems to have some Klay Thompson-like potential. Not a bad role model for Joe.

CLF
Guest
CLF
3 years 7 months ago

Harris has the shooting stroke that can make him that effective… he just needs that killer instinct as a shooter, which he should have because his stroke is good enough. Presumably, he’s got this season to prove it… I hope for his sake he does!

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Latest NBA buzz: Cavs, free agent Matthew Dellavedova are at an impasse (via @ChrisMannixSI) http://t.co/umiGXMptTH pic.twitter.com/lOIuZghEMT

— SI NBA (@si_nba) July 14, 2015

TV63
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TV63
3 years 7 months ago

I feel like either JR or Delly OR BOTH won’t be back because of the tax issue. Not sure this is anything but it was reported OKC looking to trade Novak because of tax issues today.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
3 years 7 months ago

I see Delly as worth around 2 mill a year…if some team wants to offer him 4 mill a year, sad to see him go, but take it, Delly. I don’t think he’s worth that much, even in the current cash climate in the NBA. But hey, Rondo got 9.5 mill, and he hasn’t been good for years and literally quit on his team last year, so anything is possible.

Gordon
Guest
Gordon
3 years 7 months ago

What Delly brings to the table is very valuable. Cols is wrong to blame Delly’s fatigue on being “out of shape.” The guy was simply not used to playing 40 minutes per game.

Had Kyrie not gone down, and Delly could play intense defense for 15-20 minutes per game, that would be huge. Now, with Mo Williams on board, Delly’s minutes will be severely limited. Which is a good thing. Let him come in and suffocate the opposing team’s guard for 10 minutes a night. But because his minutes are going to be very limited, it’s not worth overpaying for him. If he can get more than we’re offering him with another team, then good luck! He deserves to make as much money as he can because I don’t think his career will be long lived. As soon as he reaches the age where he loses even a tenth of a step, I think he’s done. Go get paid, Delly!

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Cavs are in a bit of a quandary. They could let Delly take his qualifying offer and make him a free agent next year, but Delly certainly could get more money than that overseas. Everyone wants on the gravy train now. Some guys at around Delly’s level will proabbly have to be signed to set the market before he does. Despite what people say, Delly’s utility as a bench point guard and a guy that can defend and play either guard spot (depending on complementing personnel) are needed. There’s not a lot of guys who will do that on the cheap. The bench is all about having specialists and Swiss army knives. Delly’s a bit of both. Plus, there’s probably no one better coming on a minimum contract.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah, this is true. But no NBA team is going to give an out of shape guard who can’t do anything but hustle and hit wide opne threes more money. So let him have the qualifying offer and then next year sign a veteran ring chaser to take his place.

We found him on the scrap heap, we should be able to find another one on the scrap hap.

Joey B
Guest
Joey B
3 years 7 months ago

Name one other player in the NBA who was able to shut down Steph Curry for two straight games.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

Since when is Delly out of shape?

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

And if you’re out of shape how do you hustle?

TV63
Guest
TV63
3 years 7 months ago

He’s 6″4″ 200 pounds Do the math on BMI. His 24 (HEALTHY WEIGHT) http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html Fell free to calculate your BMI Cols

Joey B
Guest
Joey B
3 years 7 months ago

Nate is right. Dehydration is no joke. A friend of mine actually died from it. Saying Delly is out of shape is pretty asinine.

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 7 months ago
Yeah, this is probably the most indefensible thing you’ve ever said on this blog, and that takes a lot. You cannot “hustle” regardless of what kind of shape you’re in. This makes me wonder if you’ve ever played organized basketball at any level. You literally can’t run around the court for 5 minutes, let alone 40, if you’re out of shape. You can say what you want about Delly wearing down in big minutes, but the fact was, he played 40 minutes, and got severely dehydrated. Dehydration has nothing to do with how “in shape” he is. He and the training staff failed to properly hydrate him. Delly had enough juice to win that game, but the toll of the sever dehydration got to him in the next few games. This makes me wonder if you’ve ever been severely dehydrated. I’ve been close to where Delly is (not hospitalized, but severe cramping, vomiting, diahrea on fluid intake, seeing stars). The effects can end up stroke-like. You don’t just get over them in a day. Delly’s abilities to hustle, defend, play intelligently, hit wide open threes, and be competent enough not to kill his team in other areas, is something that… Read more »
Tom
Guest
Tom
3 years 7 months ago

40 minutes of crazy, intense defense against the league MVP is not your typical 40 minutes. Not surprising that Delly couldn’t maintain that over several games…probably no one could.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
3 years 7 months ago

This is a hilarious statement. Delly takes care of his body otherwise he wouldn’t be in the team. Pretty much everything you said is inaccurate as usual.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 7 months ago

You can hustle regardless of what shape you are in. He’s out of shape. He played 40 minutes in one game and then was basically unable to do anything the rest of the Finals.

He needs to hire a trainer or something for next year.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 7 months ago

Let him walk if he wants more than the minimum.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

In honor of Robert’s title…

Joey B
Guest
Joey B
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the piece, Robert. While it is no doubt preferrable to be a fan of a title contender, it sure does make the offseason much less interesting. I feel like there is nothing to do until June 2016. Just don’t get hurt and win enough to get the playoffs.

grover13
Guest
grover13
3 years 7 months ago

It is both a blessing and a curse that the current state of the Cavs is such that our most pressing summer issue is whether or not our second round pick from two years ago will develop to the point that he’ll be worthy enough to play 15 minutes a night as our 9th option.

#summerisboring
#webegood

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 7 months ago

Blah. Summer basketball sucks.

ColsIsATroll
Guest
ColsIsATroll
3 years 7 months ago

So do your posts

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Keep it civil, gentlemen.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

bummer

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
3 years 7 months ago

I really can’t watch it…I watched a few minutes of Wolves/ Utah the other night, and flipped the channel. It’s like watching a higher level pickup game at the Y.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
3 years 7 months ago

Yes. It’s the worst basketball and players who play well or poorly have almost no correlation to how they do in the NBA.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
3 years 7 months ago

Cle/Chi at 10:00 according to nbadotcom.

re above discussion: for a 3 pt specialist, every other skill you have adds a lot. Otherwise you are are way too easy to cover.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Good stuff, Robert! Hopefully, there will be more Smokin Joe explosions tonight against the Bulls…

TV63
Guest
TV63
3 years 7 months ago

Good job. It doesn’t seem as if anyone is reporting on Cavs summer league on other blogs or even local sports news So this was refreshing from the Tristan’s contract drama It’s weird for us not to get hyped as years past on summer league. It was fun to see Kyrie, Dion, Tristan ,Andrew Wiggins with Delly on the side with a Cherry on top. The familiar faces are gone. You make a good point on Harris being an investment. We have to look at Delly the same way going into his 3rd year now. Glad you brought up Tristan’s stats from then until now on his development. I had forgotten about that. Let us know what other players in summer league has caught your eye Just curious.

DaveR
Guest
DaveR
3 years 7 months ago

Good piece Robert. The great thing about TT is that every year he has worked on something new and actually improved some facet of his game. I fear that this contract drag and eventual settlement with him being one of the top paid guys will slow that progression this offseason. Maybe he is in a gym right now working on something.

I guess Griff has a plan. I think Harris would have higher value nailing corner 3s as a specialist. Him driving to the hoop, passing the ball around, or setting up underneath doesn’t seem like something the Cavs would need him to do. Maybe that speaks to protection for JR or Delly not returning.

I’m glad people are saying Christmas might work out. The Cavs are so over the luxury they will need him for a few minutes a game. He should get those minutes in the regular season barring another crazy slow start.

I agree with whoever joked about this time of year being so slow that one article on CtB every 4 days is UNACCEPTABLE!

Nate Smith
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah. Dog days definitely here. Hard to want to write about guys who probably won’t even be here in November.

Cory Hughey
Editor
3 years 7 months ago

It’s not just us. The Starters basically took the week of free agency off.

EvilGenius
Admin
3 years 7 months ago

Sorry… it’s the dog days

dogdays

MrManager
Guest
MrManager
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t think 3 pt specialist on it’s own is really particularly useful. If he can pick up a handful of Klay, Korver, and Bonner skills , you can play him in so many more situations than if he plays like Novak, Gibson, or Foye. You need to instill a modicum of fear when the ball is in your hands and you’re well covered to be effective, even as a specialist.

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