It obviously wouldn’t make sense to read too much into something that happens in a scrimmage, but Cavs fans might be happy with what they saw from the newest Cavalier at the team’s Wine and Gold Scrimmage on October 2nd.
Over the course of three ten-minute periods, playing for both the Wine and Gold teams, Mike Dunleavy scored a game high 14 points in just under 25 minutes, adding another weapon to the league’s third-best 3-point percentage from a year ago.
Dunleavy starter for the Gold team, scoring nine of his 14 on 3-of-4 from deep. When the 36-year old switched his reversible practice jersey to the dark(er) side, he continued his sharpshooting, going 2-for-2 from the field, including a triple.
“We know he can make open shots,” Head Coach Ty Lue said. “Last year he shot 52 percent on open shots… Great catch and go guy, great passer, underrated passer, and he’s always in the right spot defensively. He’s a good addition for us.”
Point guard Kyrie Irving praised his fellow Duke Blue Devil for his ability to open up the lane for himself and LeBron James, as well as his versatility.
“He’s running end-to-end, 3-point line to 3-point line, but also mixing it in with the bigs down there,” Irving said. “Just a consummate professional.”
As a team, the Cavaliers finished 12-of-35 (34.3%) from deep, just below their mark of 37.2% in 2015-16.
Kevin Love, who received the game’s loudest ovation pre-game bar none, followed up Dunleavy’s scoring with 12 of his own.
The UCLA product was 4-for-6 from the field in 12 minutes with the wine team, including 2-for-3 from deep, before switching to the Gold side, going 1-for-4.
Camp invite Markel Brown finished with 10 points of his own, finishing perfect from the field (3/3, 2/2 3-pt.) and the free throw stripe (2-2) in 20 minutes.
As the race for backup point guard continues, all three lead-guards – Irving, Jordan McRae and rookie Kay Felder – finished with four assists.
McRae and Felder each started for the Gold team, with the former outscoring the latter, 5-2.
Lue said that it was still too early to gauge the backup point guard race.
Absent from the game was James, who stayed planted on the Wine bench for the duration. Lue said the King’s absence was for rest purposes, confirming that James’ pre-season workload would be light.
The highlight of the scrimmage was an alley oop off the backboard from Irving to Iman Shumpert, who flushed the ball with one hand.
“It was good to see Iman make a dunk,” Lue joked. “He’s the most athletic guy I’ve seen miss so many dunks.”