As Colin discusses below (see his game notes also)…Last night, the Cavs missed a golden opportunity to finish the preseason undefeated. From a team perspective though, obviously there isn’t too much to read into the game. The Cavs’ crunch time lineup was Ramon Sessions, Anthony Parker, Alonzo Gee, Omri Casspi, and Ryan Hollins…until Hollins fouled out and was replaced by Luke Harangody. This was the only action that Harangody saw all game, and he missed a wide open 10 footer that would have won the game. We hopefully won’t see this sequence of events ever again.
I’ll add a few bullets to what Colin addresses:
• The addition of Irving, Casspi, and Thompson, plus the return of Varejao – brings a lot more energy to the court than the Cavs showed most of last year. It was great to see the Cavs playing with some speed and passion, even in a meaningless game. Seeing Varejao on the court again is awesome; he finished with 9 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block and 3 steals in 25 minutes.
• Jamison is going to shoot more this year than is probably good for the Cavs. As the only “established” NBA offensive player on the team, Jamison will look to shoot frequently. He was 3 of 11 from the field in 24 minutes.
• Irving is definitely a more dynamic offensive player than anything else the Cavs have. He had a few effective drives late in the game; one resulted in an and-one to cut a Piston’s lead to one. Another of his drive / kick-outs ended with a nice swing of passes around the perimeter, leading to a Casspi three (also cutting the lead to one). In addition to his three assists and zero turnovers; he made a really nice pass in the lane to Hollins, but Hollins was fouled and couldn’t convert.
• Early in the 4th quarter; Thompson had a steal, outletted it to Irving, who passed ahead to Casspi for a transition dunk. That was a really nice sequence involving the new guys. Hopefully there is a lot more of that this year.
• The Cavs made 17 of 31 on free throws. If this continues, it will obviously make winning very hard.
The Cavs are probably headed back to the lottery, but the team should be fun to watch this year. Bring on the regular season.