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The Wine & Gold Scrimmage has gone through several permutations over the years – from being quasi-competitive to being a full-fledged exhibition. Tuesday’s event was more of the latter.
The Cavaliers had their first preseason contest of the year the previous evening, blowing out San Lorenzo in the second half behind a pair of strong performances by two of Cleveland’s top Draft picks – Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr.
Both greenhorns looked good again on Tuesday night, but there wasn’t much resistance. They’ll face the real competition on Friday night, when the Cavs travel to Detroit for a matchup with the Pistons.
Coach Beilein ran the squad through some drills (supported by some crowd participation) before the scrimmage got underway. When it tipped off, the starters for both teams were a mix of veterans, rookies and Training Camp invitees.
The Wine team's starting lineup consisted of Jordan Clarkson, Darius Garland, J.P. Macura, Marques Bolden and Jarell Martin. The Gold squad included Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., Dean Wade, Daniel Hamilton and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
As much as anything, Coach Beilein wanted to be cautious with his young squad with the preseason ramping up this weekend and the regular season looming just over two weeks away.
”After yesterday’s exhibition game (against San Lorenzo), we had a really good film session today, we walked through a lot of stuff,” said Beilein. “We’re being very protective. With a back-to-back and a game, we’ve gone eight days in a row. We didn’t want people to play too much today.”
The Wine & Gold will get that much-needed day off on Wednesday before heading to Motown after Thursday’s practice.
Tristan Thompson, a veteran of seven Wine & Gold Scrimmages (there was an NBA Lockout to start his rookie season), has been the team’s unquestioned leader through the first part of Training Camp and has liked what he’s seen so far. But he knows things are about to get more serious in the coming days and weeks.
”I felt good out there,” said the longest-tenured Cavalier. “(We) just keep grinding, getting to know each other more. The new pieces, the young guys, get them into the lineup and figure out rotations. So, we’ll have Friday in Detroit, and it’s another opportunity for us to keep gelling and meshing.”
From Detroit, the Cavaliers head to Boston for a Sunday afternoon affair, wrapping up the preseason with those same Celtics the following Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.