Joe G's Practice Notebook
We’re talking ‘bout practice …
A.B. See … The Cavaliers wrapped up practice a little early on Wednesday.
(Actually, according to Mike Brown, it was technically a “practice,” but the team basically watched a lot of film and had two 15-minute shooting sessions.)
By the time the media arrived, the squad had splintered into separate groups at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
On one court, the Canadian Connection – Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett – worked on stepping into face-up jumpers. On the other, Earl Clark, Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Gee played a rotating one-on-one game. But the best action featured a halfcourt three-on-three game featuring Anderson Varejao, Sergey Karasev (back from getting his VISA taken care of in the Bahamas), Elliot Williams, Vitaly Potapenko and Andrew Bynum.
There’s still no timetable for Bynum’s return, but he was getting a good workout in the halfcourt sets – looking fluid and feisty in the pivot. He also took part in both shooting sessions on Wednesday.
Varejao was held out of Tuesday’s game simply to get him some rest. The Wild Thing was back at it and will be ready for the Pistons on Thursday.
Thinking It Through … Anderson Varejao is the only remaining Cavalier from Mike Brown’s first tenure in Cleveland. So that means a new system with lot of new terminology for everyone else. Right now, players are still “thinking” instead of “reacting” – something that Earl Clark, who’s struggled through three preseason contests, might be going through.
“Earl is pressing a little bit, but part of him pressing is he’s still in learning mode for a lot of stuff on both sides of the ball,” Coach Brown said after Tuesday’s loss in Canton. “So it’s tough for him to play and flow because he’s thinking. And hopefully sooner rather than later it’ll click for him.”
Tristan Thompson thinks that the team is beginning to absorb Brown’s new system a bit more with each matchup.
“I think it’s becoming second nature, so guys know what spots they have to be in,” said the third-year forward. “So last night, we did a lot of thinking because it’s still a process, but I think we’re getting better each game.”
The Birds and the Bats … The NBA story of the day had to be one that came out of Buenos Aires.
For those who haven’t heard the story, this offseason, the San Antonio Spurs sent an intern to Argentina with a new contract for free agent Manu Ginobili. After Ginobili signed the paperwork, the intern prepared to travel back to Texas.
But hours before he boarded the plane, he was strafed by a bird in a park. As the intern gathered himself at a fountain, someone stole his backpack – including Ginobili’s signed contract, along with the intern’s passport, cellphone and laptop.
The Spurs sent another intern to Argentina, who brought Manu a new contract which was returned and formalized. The intern made it back as well.
Of course, Ginobili made headlines for one of the greatest non-basketball moves in NBA history when he swatted an actual bat out of mid-air during a game vs. Sacramento.
The bat had been flying around the EHL’s San Antonio Rampage game the night before and was still in the arena for the Spurs game. Ginobili had been tracking its flight and slapped it to the floor. He then picked it up and walked it to the sidelines.
Listen as forward Tristan Thompson and Head Coach Mike Brown discuss Wednesday's practice with the media.