CLEVELAND — While coach J.B. Bickerstaff and the Cavaliers have asked guard/forward Caris LeVert to be more of a facilitator this season, they don’t want him to forget what he does very well.
And that would be putting that ball in the basket.
“We want him to play to his strength,” Bickerstaff said, adding that LeVert’s scoring will definitely be needed when he plays with the second unit.
Along with those elements of offense, LeVert appears to be taking great pride on being a defensive stopper of sorts. In Monday’s preseason loss to the 76ers, LeVert spent much of the game on James Harden. It was the type of challenge he wanted.
“That’s gonna be needed from myself,” LeVert said. “… I try to be reliable on both ends.”
For the record, no decision has been made on who will start at small forward alongside guards Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, power forward Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen. Though it has been LeVert in each of the first two preseason games, and it seems as if he’s the frontrunner.
“i really pride myself on being a complete player,” LeVert said, and by all accounts, he’s been proving as much early in the preseason and training camp.
Here’s more from Cleveland …
- Allen had a big night (19 points, 12 rebounds) in the second preseason game. The Sixers were without All-Star center Joel Embiid, who got the night off and stayed in Philadelphia. So Allen immediately went to work. “He set the tone for us from tipoff,” Garland said. “JA had it going. I love that aggressiveness from him.”
- Garland said he’s not worried about anything involving the Cavs, including their winless start to the four-game preseason. “We just gotta look at the film and see what we’re doing wrong,” he said. “… I’m ready for some actual games.”
- As relayed in the Dribbles right here, power forward Kevin Love (knee) would have played had the second preseason game been a regular-season game. “But we want to be extremely patient,” Bickerstaff said.
- Other notes from Preseason Game 2: Isaiah Mobley was the first Cavs player off the bench … Garland finished with 17 points and seven assists, Dean Wade had eight points and seven boards.
- Other thoughts from Preseason Game 2: Man, is Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey good. … Isaac Okoro played 19 minutes, scored just two points, but collected five rebounds. He has to start doing more out there this year. … Forward Mamadi Diakite (eight points) is making a strong case to make the final roster.
- Again, you can check out the latest Cavs Dribbles right here.