The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Atlanta Hawks 109-93 in their first preseason game of the year, but as everyone knows, preseason doesn’t mean anything. These games are all about seeing what the team looks like in game action.
“The first unit picked up the plays a little better,” Tyronn Lue, Cavs head coach said. “They were moving the basketball, making the right play and getting assists on made baskets.
The starting line up of JR Smith, Jae Crowder, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose assisted on 15 of the first 17 field goals that the Cavs scored with Smith and Wade having three a piece.
“Its a good sign,” Lue said. “We are moving the basketball, making the right plays and getting assists on baskets.”
It started from the opening tip as Dwyane Wade stole the ball from Kent Bazemore passed it forward to JR Smith who swung it to Kevin Love for an open three-pointer. The following possession went similarly and ended the same way, with a Love wide open three.
“We are more versitle both offensively and defensively.” “We have guys that can make plays with high basketball I.Q and I think that will help us in the long run.”
Wade set the tone early with the steal off of Bazemore and the tenacious defense roared on, holding the Hawks to four field goals when the starters came out at the 4:17 mark in the first quarter.
Between the passing and the defense, the starting line up walked out of the game with a plus minus of 10 and ended the game with a plus minus of six.
“We haven’t done anything new yet,” Lue said. “We have been doing early offense flowing into transition, so this is all personal making the right decisions and the right reads.”
Not to mention, without LeBron James and Isiah Thomas playing in this game.
Iman Shumpert left the game in the first quarter with a left foot injury. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
When Shumpert went down, rookie Cedi Osman got the call off the bench. It started a little rocky for the Turkish forward, but he seemed to find his groove later on.
“When I was called in (after Shumpert was injured) I was nervous, but as I played, I got better and better.”
Osman went 2-6 from the floor and 1-3 from three point territory for six points. He added in two rebounds and two assists as well.
The Cavs will take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday October 6. Tip is at 7:30 pm.