Training Camp: Day 1 "Defense and Details"
* The word of the day from Tuesday’s practice? “Crusty”
No, we’re not talking about the stage name for Herschel Krustofski. It was the term Mike Brown used to describe Jarrett Jack on defense, as in …
“I say this in a positive way – (Jack) is crusty,” said Coach. “He’s not glamorous, in the sense that … he doesn’t care – he’s not trying to look good or beautiful out there, he’s just trying to win and get the job done. Therefore, we’ll be able to put him on different types of players, different size players – because of the crustiness that he has.”
* Amazing how much more crowded the actual courts at Cleveland Clinic Courts looked with just five extra players out there to start Camp. One of this fall’s Camp invitees is Australian import Matthew Dellavedova – who left St. Mary's University as the school’s all-time leader in scoring, assists, games played and FT percentage and impressed the Cavs brass in Vegas Summer League.
“I probably didn’t have great numbers in Summer League, but my plus/minus was pretty good and I think I did a pretty good job running the team out there,” said Dellavedova, who’s trying to make the squad as a third point guard. “That’s what I did at St. Mary’s and as a point guard that’s your job. It was a short amount of time to try to get to know everyone at Summer League – where they like to get the ball, where they’re effective – and I tried to do that the best I could.”
* Because viewers in Ohio don’t get to see many UNLV or Mountain West games, seeing Anthony Bennett this season will be the first time for many of us. Count former Cavs great Jim Chones as a charter member of the rookie’s fan club.
Watching him work out on Tuesday, Chones talked about “how easy the game comes” to Bennett and was impressed with his shooting stroke, athletic body and huge wingspan.
“(Bennett) wasn’t who the experts wanted (Cleveland) to pick, but I LOVE the pick.”
* One of the best and most encouraging sights from Tuesday’s practice took place after almost everyone had left the floor.
On the far court, it was just center Andrew Bynum – running full-court, doing some work with assistant Phil Handy and Vitaly Potapenko, and shooting with both hands. There’s still no timetable for the former All-Star’s return, but anyone who saw him work on Tuesday has to feel positively.
* Today’s randomness: Admittedly, I doubted the goodness of McDonald’s Mighty Wings. I never really got over a bad McRib experience and was wary of ordering “off the menu.” But at the urging of Cavs VP of Communications Tad Carper and Director of Basketball Communications B.J. Evans, I dove in.
Tad and B.J. were 100 percent right, and I owe both of them – along with Ronald McDonald – an apology. The wings (with ranch dipping) were absolutely fantastic.
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