We’re talking ‘bout practice …
Changing of the Guard … When the Cavs and Wizards tangle again on Wednesday night, it’ll be starting lineup number six for the Wine and Gold through the first dozen games.
The most recent change to the starting five comes in the form of C.J. Miles moving into the starting shooting guard spot in place of Dion Waiters. Miles has started the last two games for Cleveland and 13 contests in the middle of last season. After an offseason of work, he’s been one of the Cavs’ most consistent performers this season – averaging 10.9 ppg on 46 percent shooting, mostly off the bench. He notched double-figures in five of Cleveland’s first six games.
“With Bynum starting, C.J. is a guy who can stretch the floor,” reasoned Coach Brown. “He can shoot the ball, and whether he’s making shots or not, he’s got to be guarded. And he’s done a solid job defensively.”
Mike Brown continues to remind everyone that, with a lack of practice time and guys still getting used to new roles, games have almost served as practices. But with a break in the schedule, the Cavs have gotten back-to-back days to work out some kinks at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
“These last two practices have helped tremendously because we’ve been able to have everybody at practice,” said Miles. “(We’ve been able to) go through the offense, go through the defense, split the groups that we have now – like the new starting lineup, the new lineups, and to be able to switch the lineups throughout practice so guys can play with guys even more.”
The two days of practice might have also helped some young Cavaliers get in some valuable work. Rookie Anthony Bennett has had some struggles this season, but Coach Brown likes what he’s seen on Monday and Tuesday in Independence.
“I’ll tell you what: he’s probably had his best two practices of the year today and yesterday,” praised Brown. “He did some things today; he had a couple dunks today in traffic that make you go: ‘OK, this is what I know I’ve seen before.’
“And I said this at the beginning of the year – not only him, but Carrick Felix does some stuff that makes you raise an eyebrow, same with Sergey. And the luxury about what we have going right now is that we don’t necessarily need to press these guys into heavy minutes because we have some veterans that can possibly step up in place of those guys until they get themselves ready.”
Bennett didn’t see action in Saturday’s win over Washington and with Earl Clark playing some backup 4, Mike Brown said that might limit Bennett’s minutes.
Listen as C.J. Miles, Matthew Dellavedova and Head Coach Mike Brown discuss Tuesday's practice with the media.