Wine and Gold Scrimmage Goes to the Gold
The annual Wine and Gold Scrimmage marks the unofficial start of the Cavaliers season and thousands of fans came to the corner of Huron and Ontario to take in the entertaining intersquad exhibition.
The Gold team – led by Omri Casspi and C.J. Miles – came away from the preseason dress rehearsal with the 54-44 win. But the real winner was Byron Scott, who got his squad through the game healthy and ready for a back-to-back at The Q beginning Monday night against Siena.
Overall, Scott – who lets his assistants coach the respective teams while he observes – seemed pleased with the performance.
“We didn’t get out and run as much as I want us to, especially off missed shots,” said Scott. “But for the most part, offensively, I thought we did a good job of executing – especially the (gold) team – and defense did some real good things. You could see the difference, from an athletic standpoint, today from a year ago.
“Our guys are still doing a lot of thinking out there and that’s something we want to get them away from. And hopefully the next couple weeks they can get back to just playing and reacting.”
The young Cavaliers looked disjointed at times, but that’s expected with only a week of Training Camp under their belts.
Rookie Dion Waiters started across from Kyrie Irving for the Wine team and the tandem combined for 25 points on 9-for-22 shooting. Waiters was 4-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the stripe for 12 points in his first action as a Cavalier.
“First and foremost I’d like the fans for coming out and supporting us the way they did,” said Waiters. “It was really fun, getting up and down, going against the other guys. Playing with Kyrie, that was my first time. We never play together in practice.”
The first-year combo guard from Syracuse added: “It felt to get out there, that’s the biggest thing, finally getting out there and getting acclimated to the whole system.”
Irving led both teams with 13 points – going 5-of-13 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Irving added five assists, including a couple flashy passes to excite the Cleveland crowd.
The reigning Rookie of the Year also got his first chance to run with Waiters in the same backcourt. Irving knows that the game is still moving fast for the fellow 20-year-odl.
“Dion’s going to do a phenomenal job,” praised Kyrie. “He’s getting better every single day, in terms of watching film and getting more prepared. Right now, it’s about (the game) slowing down, but I know Dion will get acclimated.”
The victorious Gold squad started Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Jeremy Pargo, Omri Casspi and C.J. Miles. The Wine team went with Irving, Waiters, Tyler Zeller, Alonzo Gee and Jon Leuer.
Casspi and Miles netted nine points apiece – with Casspi going 4-of-5 from the floor. The Gold team also featured a pair of Big East bangers – Kevin Jones and Samardo Samuels – grab five boards apiece in the win. Irving and Luke Harangody snagged five boards each for the Wine team.
The Cavaliers will practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts on Sunday before welcoming Siena from the Euroleague’s on Monday night and the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.