The Cleveland Cavaliers surprised the entire basketball world on the night of the NBA Draft when they selected Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick, passing on big men Nerlens Noel and Alex Len.
Bennett showed a very impressive ability in college to score points. Other than scoring, he doesn’t necessarily bring much else yet. However, he would be just a sophomore in college right now if he hadn’t been drafted after his freshman season, so there is plenty of time for him to develop a more all-around game.
The biggest surprise to me is that they drafted a forward that doesn’t play much defense after hiring a head coach, Mike Brown, who puts such an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. The Cavs were a terrible defensive team in 2012-13 as a team and individually. Both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters were awful defenders last season.
Bennett made his debut with the Cavs on Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets, and he looked very much like a rookie. He had a very difficult time putting the ball in the basket in this game. The Cavs were able to pick up a very good win against a potentially great Nets team, and they were able to do it without getting much from their very talented rookie.
In 15 minutes in Wednesday night’s win, Bennett scored just two points, missing all five of his shot attempts and going 2-for-4 from the free throw line. Being his NBA debut, we can just assume that Bennett’s struggles were because of rookie-jitters and the game being a bit too fast for him. The talent is there and he will be a very good NBA player, but he will probably struggle a little bit early on.