Four games in and Cavs' Anthony Bennett yet to make first basket
Anthony Bennett, the top overall pick, has struggled with his conditioning, his health and his confidence since joining the Cavs. Fortunately, they aren't asking much of him yet.
Four games into his NBA career and No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett has yet to score a bucket. He's a combined 0-of-15, including 0-of-8 from beyond the arc, and recently admitted to The Plain Dealer that he feels “like there's a lid on the basket.”
In fairness, he does have two free throws, but to add even more to Bennett's 6-foot-8, 256-pound frame, he recently revealed he's been battling sleep apnea as well as asthma. Not to mention, he's coming off of a shoulder surgery that limited his offseason conditioning.
Anthony Bennett's two points is the fewest points scored through four games by any No. 1 pick since the 1966 draft.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 5, 2013
Safe to say this wasn't how he envisioned the start of his NBA career.
Following the Cavs' 93-92 win over Minnesota on Monday night, (he played just 10 minutes and had one rebound) Bennett took to Twitter to announce that he was going off the grid.
Going ghost for a bit, think it's be best for me at this point .. If you don't have my number DM me— Anthony Bennett (@AnthonyBennett) November 5, 2013
Probably a smart move for a 20-year-old tasked with learning to play in the NBA for a defensive-minded coach after just one season at UNLV.
Cavs coach Mike Brown isn't oblivious to his top pick's struggles, either.
“He's probably putting more pressure on himself than we are as a coaching staff and his teammates are, which is good. He's the No. 1 pick in the draft and he should put pressure on himself,” Brown said, before adding that he's a talented player and is sure his time will come.
The good news? His career is four games old. The Cavs have significant front-court depth in Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson, and along with Brown, all three will emphasize his defense, which needs improvement.
But his conditioning, his health and his adjustment to the NBA will obviously improve over time. The Cavaliers shouldn't be overly concerned with their selection in a draft where there was no consensus at the top.
Part of what made Bennett so intriguing – and still does -- is his outside shooting. He hit 37 percent of his threes last season at UNLV, and his lack of success so far this year is directly linked to his conditioning. Without his legs, there's not a chance he'll have that type of success.
That's why it's going to take time. And fortunately, the Cavs aren't dependent on him for anything, at least at the moment.
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