The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Milwaukee Bucks by the score of 97-80 on Tuesday, October 9. With the preseason loss Cleveland falls to 1-1 while Milwaukee improves to 1-0.
C.J. Miles deserves the starting job
The battle for the starting shooting guard job comes down to the veteran C.J. Miles and rookie Dion Waiters. Miles finished last season with the Utah Jazz averaging 9.1 points per game in roughly 20 minutes of floor time while Waiters was primarily a bench player due to Syracuse's offensive scheme.
In the matchup against Milwaukee on Tuesday night, Miles led the team in scoring with 18 points while grabbing three boards and a trio of steals in roughly 22 minutes of action. Waiters, by comparison was on the floor for 14 minutes scoring just two points and shooting 1-7 from the field. He did manage one rebound and three assists but turned the ball over four times on the night.
In all fairness to Waiters, it was his first game against an NBA opponent. Ultimately, Coach Byron Scott will want to put his best team on the court in any given situation. Miles has the experience and Waiters has a lot to learn. Coming off the bench is a role he is used to. Starting Miles may be the best situation for all parties involved.
Jon Leuer might actually make the team
When the Cavaliers picked up Jon Leuer off waivers I wondered if he would actually make the team coming out of camp with four quality "bigs" in Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Samardo Samuels, and Tyler Zeller. His numbers were mediocre with the Milwaukee Bucks averaging just 4.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game in roughly 12 minutes of action off the bench.
Seeing him play against the Bucks on Tuesday I certainly gained a better appreciation of the game he brings to the table. In 23 minutes on the floor he shot 4-9 from the field earning eight points with six rebounds and a pair of steals. These certainly are not mind-blowing stats but he was impressive enough to keep me interested in his development throughout the rest of camp.
Hits and misses from the bench
I have said this multiple times and I will say it again--the performance of the bench will be what makes or breaks the team this season. I have already touched upon Waiters' disappointing evening and Leuer's impressive night. There are a couple of others worth mentioning.
Among the surprises was Kelenna Azubuike. In just 14 minutes on the floor, this unknown journeyman shot 2-3 from the field and 2-2 from the line picking up six points, three rebounds, and a steal. Among the disappointments was Jeremy Pargo who shot just 1-7 from the field and turned the ball over four times in 23 minutes. On the bright side he led the team in assists with five and grabbed three rebounds, but my confidence is still not there with him leading the team from the point. Donald Sloan, who did not play, looks to be better suited for Irving's backup role.
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Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Cavaliers fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.
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