Random dribbles on the Cavaliers after their Wine & Gold scrimmage …
1. Well, Lauri Markkanen sure looked like a fit. He also looked like he’ll help in the area of making 3-pointers. If the Cavs have any shot of doing anything decent this year, they will need Markkanen to shine. One public scrimmage in, he appears capable of doing just that.
2. This may not be cool to say, but Kevin Love actually looked good, too. He was out of shape and maybe still injured during Team USA tryouts. Maybe that motivated him. It will be real interesting to see how that scenario plays out.
3. Will Love stay healthy? Will accept a new role, likely to involve less minutes and perhaps coming off the bench? Will he lead in more ways than just being one of the guys?
4. When it comes to Love, it’s fair to have your doubts. Everyone is in high spirits in October. What will he be like come, say, January?
5. I have no idea how the Cavs will fare this season. Given all the youth, I expect not real well when it comes to wins and losses. But the scrimmage showed signs of excitement, a potentially fun team that should be more competitive than last season.
6. Actually, they’d better be more competitive if the current regime hopes to continue its reign. That’s not any inside information. That’s just the way it goes in the NBA. I don’t make the rules, but I know what they are.
7. This is the year where the Cavs will decide if Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are truly the Starting Backcourt of the Future. I’ve repeatedly been told that decision hasn’t been reached. The Cavs are hopeful that it is — but they aren’t sure.
8. Wild guess: The determination will be made by the February trade deadline.
9. Rookie big man Evan Mobley showed some real signs of explosiveness. Like most rookies, he’s bound to be up and down. Confidence will be a major factor. Playing alongside true point guards such as Garland and Ricky Rubio should really help Mobley adapt to the pro game. But everyone will have to be patient.
11. Fall is 7-foot-5 and one of the world’s tallest people. He can play a little, too. He would be a major draw for the G League’s Charge, in their first season in Cleveland.
12. Guy is a former NCAA champion from Virginia and also has a bit of a following from his days as a high school star in Indiana. He certainly deserves a longer look in the NBA, based on his athleticism alone.
13. You know it’s the preseason when I’m droning on about two-way contracts.
14. This will also be a more telling year for Isaac Okoro. The Cavs have high hopes for him. He certainly had some electric moments during summer league and looked good in this one. The key, of course, will be how much he improves vs. real NBA competition.
15. Frankly, I like his odds. Okoro was much better at the end of last season, and reminds me very much of a young Andre Iguodala. By that, I mean Okoro has the athleticism and skill set to make a difference without dominating the ball.
16. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff has talked a lot about pace and ball movement. It sounds simple, but young teams can really struggle in those areas. Bickerstaff was pleased with how things went in the scrimmage, and with good reason.
17. The Cavs look as if they’ll go about seven or eight deep once the real thing begins. The bench will be a concern when it comes to actually winning games — especially against veteran teams. They open the preseason Tuesday at Chicago.