The Cleveland Cavaliers faced off with the previously 3-0 Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night in what turned out to be probably one of the most exciting games on a shallow slate of NBA action. The Cavs were able to withstand a fourth quarter comeback from the Wolves, narrowly escaping with a 93-92 victory for their second win of the season.
While Cleveland’s starters struggled on the night, with Kyrie Irving committing nine turnovers on the night and no starter scoring more than 15 points, the Cavs bench was big for them. C.J. Miles added 19 points while Andrew Bynum added 10 and Alonzo Gee put up nine. However, rookie and number-one overall pick Anthony Bennett continued to be up against it in his fourth NBA game.
Bennett has really struggled to get much of anything going in his first taste of the NBA. He’s averaging just 0.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and one steal in 12.8 minutes per game. However, the most shocking part is that he’s yet to hit a field goal attempt on the season, with his two total points on the season coming on two free throws in his NBA debut on Oct. 30. Bennett’s two points through the his first four games are also the fewest by a number one pick since 1966, per ESPN Stats and Information.
Bennett simply looks to be pressing right now whenever he’s on the floor. He’s forcing the offense and not taking shots that are necessarily in his wheelhouse. For a player that is a work-in-progress defensively, him not succeeding offensively really depreciates his overall value.
Ultimately, Bennett is going to have to do something to remedy his early struggles. Whether that’s getting into better shape, making better decisions, calming down or all of those things, he’s got to do something. If he doesn’t at least somewhat fix his issues, he could find himself buried on the bench as the season goes on.