Some random observations from the Cavaliers first preseason game:
What's that? An offense? During the first half the Cavaliers *gasp* threw the ball in the post. Drew Gooden posted up, Z posted up and even Varejao posted up. They played some inside-out offense and it looked pretty good.
Gooden looked good. Drew hit his first 7 shots and seemed pretty active. However, he did lose focus once or twice (he threw away an inbounds pass).
Marshall put his all around game on display. There's been a lot of talk about Marshall changing his game up and not just settling for theres. Well, he showed off his all around skills. Donyell pump faked more than a few Celtic players and drove past 'em. He also got some nice rebounds inside.
Hughes's finger looks alright. Larry shot the jumpers well; he looked very comfortable in the offense and his jumper looked fine.
Damon Jones does look in shape. Jones was running around on offense AND defense, plus he even took the ball to the hole. If his legs are fresh, that can only help his jumper.
The starters sat. If you missed most of the first quarter (as I did) you missed most of LeBron's floor time. I don't think any of the starters played in the second half at all. Well, no might've, but if he did, it wasn't much.
The Celtics were playing to win. Paul Pierce was out there for most of the 3rd period; pretty weak if you ask me. He also got 16(!) free throws. 16 free throws in a preseason game... that is fun to watch.
Speaking of fun to watch... The Cavs had anywhere from 4-6 defensive 3 seconds. That is very, very, very annoying.
Varejao played. A lot. Varejao has been getting some evening workouts off due to his participation at the Worlds (so does LeBron). Plus, Varejao complained of some weird leg fatigue earlier in the summer. But, for some reason, in the fourth quarter, when the clock showed 0:00 Anderson was still on the floor. The box score at ESPN said he only had 9 minutes, but there is no way that is true (it also said that Sasha Pavlovic had 0 minutes but shot 1-5. Well done). Personally, I would've liked to see less of Anderson tonight.
I'm not sure how long this Shannon Brown point guard experiement is going to last. Twice Brown made poor decisions bringing the ball up. While being pressured, he picked up his dribble right after he crossed the time line (trapping himself) and another time he picked it up in the back court and nearly had a 8 second violation. However, the rest of Brown's offensive game looked pretty good. However, I must say the 'Shannon Brown PG Extravaganza' looks much better than the 'Darius Miles PG Fiasco'.
Gibson will make this team. Daniel Gibson looked much more comfortable bringing the ball up. He passed well (he had a great pass to Varejao) and took shots when they were available. With the way Brown handled the point and the Cavs lack of 'true' point guards, I think Gibson will make the squad.
But Pavlovic... Ugh, Sasha was pressing tonight; you can tell he knows he'll be fighting for minutes. He made a bunch of dumb mistakes; a carry here, a travel there, stepping out on the baseline... I'm still not sure what to make of the kid; sometimes he looks great, sometimes he looks clueless.
Preseason garbage time is great to watch. No. Really. Don't fret about the score, the Cavs rested their starters in the second half while Paul Pierce was shooting 129 free throws in the 3rd. Plus, the Celtics had a built in advantage: they're used to garbage time. Hey-o! You really want to know how bad it was? At one point the Cavs ran back to back plays where Ira Newble shot a three. He actually made the first one ( andI personally think they ran the second play just to see if that first shot was luck. Yup).
Michael Olowokandi really wants to make a team. My lord, he was hustling and rebounding. There was a sequence in the 3rd period where he got 2 or 3 offensive rebounds in one possession. I think he knows if the Celtics aren't his last chance, they're one of his. Honestly, he was playing like a man who um... wants to keep making millions of dollars?
And finally... there was a kid wearing a Michigan hat sitting right behind coach Brown. Didn't you guys see LeBron at the Texas game? Get that hat outta here.