Summer League Recap: Cleveland 72, Washington 59 (or, Big ZZ)


Editor’s Note: Please welcome commenter, CLF who’s scouting the summer league for us!

Shout-out to Nate and the CtB family for the guest spot! In the first action since the Finals, the Cavs’ summer league squad dominated the game against the Wizards 72-59, and they did it with stellar defense and smart offense. Cleveland raced out to 22-10 first quarter league and led by 16 at the half before going up by over 20 in the third, mainly fueled by defense at the point of attack, energy, and poor ball security by the Wizards, before letting off the gas in a ho/hum fourth…

Here’s a breakdown of the Cavs’ squad:

Player of game: Ante Zizic

Zizic was stellar on the offensive end, scoring efficiently, crashing the boards, and moving the ball well on his way to a double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. He was great in the post and used his size well, but his footwork getting him into his post moves was the most impressive of all. There’s really no reason he shouldn’t see time on the floor next season as a backup (or primary) big man. Check out this pass to the Cavs first round draft pick.

Zizic can be picked on with his perimeter defense and he’ll occasionally struggle with the speed of the game, but he knows how to play.. If he can get more minutes, he’ll be able to adjust to the speed of the game and take his game to another level. A way he can take his game to the next level on offense is being quicker to recognize when the defense collapses on him in the post. Also if he can get a little meaner he might convert a few more putbacks. But you can’t teach size, and Zizic has that in spades, along with a savvy mind for offense.

Veteran savvy: Cedi Osman

Though Cedi didn’t have his shot working from outside (1-6, and the lone make was a three-bouncer) he didn’t let it stop him from dominating all other aspects of the game. He facilitated, played excellent defense, and was aggressive on offense keeping constant pressure on the defense. Being aggressive is exactly what Cedi needs to do to take his game to the next level in the NBA. Cedi turned in a nice double double along with four stellar steals. Cedi was also a stabilizing force for rookie Collin Sexton, running the offense in tandem with Sexton. Check out this dime that would’ve made LBJ proud.

Best rookie debut: Collin Sexton

Sexton turned in a solid debut with 15 points and seven rebounds and only two turnovers playing 29 minutes. Sexton struggled with his shooting, especially from closer range, but he did hit his only 3-point attempt off the dribble moving away from his strong hand. But he did a lot of things well.

Sexton’s speed and athleticism is elite…. he can blow by anybody. His defense is solid for a rookie, and that might be an understatement. Sexton’s rebounding was a revelation. Sexton played under control for the most part; there was only one bad shot and one bad turnover that I can remember for the whole game. His passing wasn’t spectacular, but he showed a willingness to run offense and move the ball to the right spots. His lack of assists was due to teammates missing shots (the Cavs shot 36% for the game), not an unwillingness to pass.

What would I like to see next time? I might be completely off-base, but I’d like to see Sexton hunt for his shot a little more… he seems to have nice touch in the midrange. Also Nate made a good point in the live thread in my opinion, that Sexton seems to favor the floater a bit too much as opposed to taking it to the rim or keeping the dribble alive and hunt for the next play…. or maybe he should pull up and just shoot the elbow jumper. Whatever the case, I think we’ll see better offensive efficiency moving forward for Sexton now that first game jitters are over.

Bench notes: Billy Preston, Marcus Lee, Dakota Mathias

Billy Preston started off very rough, playing out of rhythm especially in the 1st. But there were flashes of strength, speed, and touch in his game. No question he needs to play ball and play catch-up for a lost year last year. He needs a lot of work on how to play within a system, but the sky is the limit as far as his potential is concerned. He absolutely has an NBA body. He really picked it up as the game went on though, adding nine points and leading the Cavs in plus/minus at +12. Most impressive? A no-hesitation three from from the top of the key.

Best bench performance goes to former UK product Marcus Lee. Lee was a perfect 4-4 from the field, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 blocks, a +11 plus/minus in only 12 minutes. He has length, athleticism, and played within himself and with a purpose. I know I’m being irrational, but I’d already take Lee as a replacement for Tristan Thompson.

Dakota Mathias was frigid in Vegas as he bricked his way to 1-5 from 3-point range as a sharp shooter. But it was encouraging to see that he didn’t shy away from taking his shots; when he was open, he let it fly. He also had a nice steal and assist play and he finished with a +11 plus/minus. I’d actually like to see Mathias plugged in alongside Sexton to see if that might open up the court for Sexton, especially given Holland’s rough performance.

Overall, the only real concern from this game was the abysmal shooting and the sloppy turnovers in the 2nd half. John Holland was especially bad with zero points and five turnovers in 27 minutes. The defense was tremendous and there was an appearance of an offensive system. Shout out to Coach James Posey for having these guys ready to play. The Cavs will have a quick turnaround and will play Saturday night against the Bulls on ESPN2. Go Cavs!

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CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

This James Jones interview is great….. fantastic move for the Suns to bring him into a front office role. Well spoken and smart.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 10 days ago

Indians blew a 3-0 lead.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

WOW Trae Young has just made two Curry 3s in a row… he might be over the hump.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

Kevin Knox with two incredible dunks!!! He looks good overall.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

Trevon Bluiett is absolutely tearing it up out here…. would’ve been nice to keep him in Ohio.

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 10 days ago

Nice work CLF. Regarding the no assists for Sexton, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It feels like most rookies in Summer League ball hog a bit, as they are trying to prove their worth.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

Thanks Arch! He would’ve had a few assists if guys would’ve knock down a few open shots. I’d say that Sexton didn’t ball hog at all. He ran offense and moved the ball to the right spots when guys were open. He just doesn’t have the “plus” vision others have demonstrated, like Trae Young for instance.

newnomad
Guest
newnomad
4 months 10 days ago

clf/ mikeo—yeah mentioned when they drafted sexton—he is only 19—still has a chance to grow some more —possibly an inch or 2—-still believe the shot will come —–his shot isn’t that bad that a little refinement / reps can’t correct —-think that was the biggest rap on westbrook and oladipo when they came into the league —they are now compotent shooters

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 10 days ago

Is tonights game at 9:30 or 6:30? I’ve heard both.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

930 EDT, 630 PDT

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
4 months 10 days ago

That’s what I figured.

Nick
Guest
Nick
4 months 10 days ago

I didn’t see the game but based on the comments and write-ups it sounds like some promising talent that could develop and lead to a nice team in a couple years. These young guys Sexton, Nance, Cedi, Zizic, Preston, and even Clarkson and Hood if they are still here are reasons I have yet cancelled my season tickets.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

Zizic, Cedi, and Sexton should all see regular minutes…. Cedi should start or at least see starter’s minutes as a 6th man. If Preston puts in work this year in the G League, look out for him next year…. he’s a talent, a big man that can score inside and outside and he’s tough and quick on defense.

MikeO
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MikeO
4 months 10 days ago
It’ll be interesting to see Carter for the Bulls. I really like that guy, and I think he’ll be good right away. I liked Sexton’s play – he’s gonna struggle his rookie season for sure (maybe he’ll grow an inch or two in the next year), but he’ll have flashes. I remember Carter Rodriguez on the Chase Down pod just before or just after the draft that his biggest fear about Sexton is that he could be good, but that it wouldn’t matter. I.e., he could put up numbers and not help much towards creating a winning team. He wasn’t saying he was sure this was his best outcome, just that he feared it could be. I can see that. I think Sexton has enough physical tools to be a good player in the NBA, but at his size he’s going to need to improve in a lot of different areas. Most especially his shot – if you’re a shorter guard you absolutely need to be able to shoot. And I mean really shoot. He can get there, I think, he’ll just need to work very hard. The good news to me is that if he never quite gets there,… Read more »
CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

That’s good point…. if Sexton adds an inch or two… I think that’s gonna make a big difference with his long wingspan. Finishing over traffic will get easier for him. And he’s young enough where 1 more growth spurt should be in the cards.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

Looks like Cedi and Ante will continue to develop. Cavs have done a tremendous job with these two guys so far. Keep it up Cavs!

Slammin Sam
Guest
Slammin Sam
4 months 10 days ago

Great recap CLF! Agree with everything you said. And it in fact did seem like the Cavs were possibly running something resembling an offense! How refreshing! Also, that Wizards summer league team is very very very bad.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

Thanks Sam! Yes Wizards summer league team is absolutely horrible. At least their draft pick was their best player…. Brown looks legit.

TV63
Guest
TV63
4 months 10 days ago

Second that motion. Thank you for writing and putting these cool videos on for us. I was watching close to half time when Ty Lue and Fisher were commenting. Lue was trying to be positive . However, Fisher didn’t resist the chance to troll Ty Lue on Lebron being a Laker. If looks could kill, I think he would have punched him! I didn’t see Matt Barnes close by. ohhhh nooo

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

LOL… You’re welcome…. videos courtesy of Nate I believe. That was an interesting interview from Ty Lue. I actually felt bad for him.

Jason
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Jason
4 months 11 days ago

Thanks for the recap and congrats on the piece!

Saw Preston has been signed to a two-way.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

You’re welcome…. and thank you I appreciate the love from CtB!

JMay
Editor
4 months 11 days ago

Great job CLF! Wasn’t able to catch the game so this was great. I hope Cedi can really get his shot going. I see that as his main avenue to taking his game to the next level. He can play defense and has great court vision and athleticism. If his log range shot comes in around 35% of better then he’s going to be a terror.

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

Yup… it’s the last piece to the puzzle for Cedi…. he’s got everything else.

Jack
Guest
Jack
4 months 11 days ago

His shot was looking pretty smooth when he was playing for the Turkish national team. Somebody said he basically flew straight from Turkey to Vegas the night before, so that would explain him settling for a lot of jumpers and coming up short. He could stand to improve his free throw shooting, though…

Cedi Mind Tricks
Guest
Cedi Mind Tricks
4 months 11 days ago

His shot mimics Korvers, he will be elite shooter in couple years.

JMay
Editor
4 months 11 days ago

I don’t know if he’ll be elite but I don’t mind him soaking up every bit of wisdom Korver has until we ship him out.

Cedi Mind Tricks
Guest
Cedi Mind Tricks
4 months 10 days ago

Faith

newnomad
Guest
newnomad
4 months 11 days ago

MOST MVP—CLF—THANK YOU FOR YOUR GREAT COVERAGE OF ALL SUMMER LEAGUE GAMES —-BELIEVE ( THE POTENTIAL CAN BE SEEN –COLLIN– ( 6/6/ FREE THROWS –)THAT HE WILL DEVELOP HIS SHOT WITH QUALITY REPS ———-PRESTON’S POTENTIAL IS OBVIOUS–( IS WHY CAVS WERE QUICK TO SIGN HIM TO 2 WAY CONTRACT )—-BELIEVE BONZIE WILL BE ANOTHER 2 WAY CONTRACT–( WAS HOPING TO SEE HIM IN SUMMER ACTION) —BUT GETTING HIM HEALTHY IS MORE IMPORTANT ………..LEE MAY MAKE THE SQUAD OVER “OKRE “—–TIME WILL TELL………..TY– WHY IN THE HELL DID YOU NOT PLAY CEDI AND ANTE MORE THE ENTIRE SEASON —–YOU ARE CLUELESS / AM SURE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN ORDERS– ( OR AT LEAST I HOPE YOU HAVE BEEN )–TO PLAY / DEVELOP THESE YOUNG PLAYERS ……SEE HOW THE YOUNG PLAYERS BOUNCE BACK TONIGHT

CLF
Guest
CLF
4 months 10 days ago

You got it NOMAD!

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