2017 Training Camp Day 2 Notebook
Working In Some New Faces, New Looks in Morning Session
Everyone who’s ever shot hoops knows that you want to end whatever session you just completed on a high note. From a heated scrimmage to a solo shootaround, it always sucks to leave the gym on a miss.
The Wine & Gold’s early workout on Wednesday wrapped up with Kay Felder rising and crushing a left-handed jam – a perfect way to end a slightly less intense second day of practice at CCC in Independence. (The squad needed to leave something in the tank, with the second of their two-a-day workouts slated for later in the afternoon.)
With the changes to the upcoming season’s schedule, and the added emphasis on rest, the preseason tips off earlier (October 4) and wraps up earlier (October 13). The Cavs have two, two-a-days scheduled – Tuesday and Friday and will work at least one day this weekend. The Wine & Gold Scrimmage is set for Monday evening at 6 p.m. and two nights later, the Hawks roll into The Q.
”There’s gonna be some work. It’s going to be a process just trying to figure out who’s the most comfortable with who," commented Coach Lue. "But I think we have a lot of guys with a high basketball IQ that can play together. Just trying to figure out the rotations from that standpoint, but they know how to play the game and the good players that we have can make a lot of guys look better. So, we’ll just see how it all fits."
1 It’s obligatory for any NBA writer to comment on which players came to Camp looking different than the previous season. Yesterday, we talked about the newly-svelte Kendrick Perkins, who came to CCC in tremendous shape.
Aside from the 33-year-old big man, the most noticeably different guy might be Derrick Rose, who transformed his body and shed some weight in the offseason.
Rose, who missed nearly all of the 2013-14 campaign after injuring his MCL in the 2012 postseason, bounced back last year in New York – starting 64 games, averaging 18.0 points per, his highest scoring mark since 2011-12.
”Every year, I kind of put pressure on myself to perform,” said Rose during Monday's Media Day. “I feel like if you don’t put pressure on yourself, you play lackadaisical. And that’s not me. I try to be very precise on the floor; I want to produce. And coming to a team like this it’d be easy to go out there and play my game. But my job is to go out there and push guys and vice-versa, I want them to push me.
”And if anything, I can learn from them because they’ve been to the Finals, they’ve been together numerous years. My job is just to come in and fit in.”
2 If you ever need to win a bar bet on the Cavaliers all-time preseason record, A. you need better friends to hang out with in a bar, and B. the answer is 144-169.
The Cavs went undefeated twice. The last time was 1988 – the year they won 57 games and finished with the league’s second-best mark and a then-high watermark for the franchise. They’ve taken the collar four times in team history, but not since 1986.
But who’s counting? It’s only preseason.
3 Things change from one practice session to the next, but the Cavaliers spent some of the morning running with a small lineup that featured Kevin Love at the 5, LeBron at the 4 and Jae Crowder at the 3. Derrick Rose and J.R. Smith in the backcourt rounded out group.
Tyronn Lue will be able to mix and match all season long. This is inarguably the deepest roster Lue’s seen since arriving in Cleveland as David Blatt’s assistant in 2014; likely the most talented team in franchise history – and one that’s expected to get an even bigger boost some time this week.
And that means some decisions will have to made even before the preseason tips off next week.
”If you come into a situation and you want to win, if your goal is to win a Championship, everybody has to sacrifice,” asserted Lue. “There’s gonna be a lot of guys at (the shooting guard) position, which is a great problem to have. The minutes are gonna be sporadic. It depends on who’s playing well, how things are going.
”It’s gonna be my job to make sure we get all the people clicking on the right cylinders, the right rotations, the right combinations.”