Darius Garland provides sneak peek into potential during Cleveland Cavaliers 120-89 win in preseason opener – cleveland.com

Darius Garland provides sneak peek into potential during Cleveland Cavaliers 120-89 win in preseason opener - cleveland.com
Cavs Rumors: Tristan Thompson in Battle for Minutes at Center Position
Cavaliers guard Darius Garland warms up before the exhibition game against San Lorenzo de Almagro of Argentina on Monday night, Oct. 7, 2019.

Both Tristan Thompson and John Henson are entering the final year of their contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers and are currently locked in a training camp battle for playing time.

Re-watch this one and youll see a lot of stuff that wont hold true in the regular season. Most notably, Kevin Love didnt look like himself (15 minutes in the first half, 1-5 from the field, 0-3 from three) and that figures to change once he gets into more of a rhythm. The defense was too willing to give up open three-pointers — something that clearly annoyed John Beilein. And it took a full quarter for the Cavs to really get into rhythm.

One new report suggests that Henson may ultimately emerge as the winner with regard to minutes once the dust settles.

Yes, its preseason and yes, its the first time that Garland has played basketball in a year-plus. His pitch count for Monday kept limited him to 14 minutes. But its already clear that hes got a smooth game, plays with a sense of patience and has some ability to pass guys open. There were some miscues — he missed Kevin Love on one play, for instance — but this was a really encouraging debut. Itll be fun to see more.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com answered questions from Cavs fans on a variety of topics. One of the queries focused on the team’s rotation for the 2019-20 season and which players could end up seeing less playing time under new head coach John Beilein.

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“Thompson vs. John Henson was one of the camp battles to watch,” Fedor responded. “It still is. Members of the organization won’t rule out Henson pushing Thompson for playing time. Henson gives the Cavs a needed rim protector and his shooting range would provide added spacing. He’s more of a Beilein 5 than Thompson.”

The rapid is normally navigated by a raft full of passengers combining both experience and enough weight to stay grounded. But Love and girlfriend Kate Bock opted for a private tour, resulting in a rag doll-like thrashing with serious consequences. “It sent me like I was 90 pounds,” he confessed.

Video: SAN LORENZO at CAVALIERS | Five Players In Double Figures Lead To W | 2019 NBA Preseason

Fedor believes that Thompson will eventually win this battle, with the first week of camp showing that the veteran is ready to play this season. In addition, he’s also displaying leadership on a young team that will continue to suffer through growing pains this season.

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Video: #CavsSanLorenzo Postgame: Coach Beilein

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“While I wouldnt rule out Henson, I still expect Thompson to get the edge,” Fedor wrote. “Hes had a strong start to camp. Hes motivated and energized. Hes coming off one of his best seasons and is in great shape once again. His screen-setting is an important tool in the offense, creating space for Garland and Sexton to get shots off. Thompson is also the voice on defense, constantly barking out coverages and instructions. He’s even added an outside jumper.”

CLEVELAND — Kevin Loves 610″, 250-pound frame was no match for the Big Kahuna, a tenacious rapid on Wyomings Snake River that can reach a Class 5 level.

Video: #CavsSanLorenzo Postgame: Darius Garland

Henson is really something of an unknown commodity to the Cavaliers, who acquired him last December as part of the deal that also brought back Matthew Dellavedova to the team. He arrived with a left wrist that had just been surgically repaired after tearing a ligament and never ended up playing in a game for the Cavs.

“It is truly a two-guard front,” Beilein told WKYC in Cleveland, referring to his offensive system. “It opens the floor so much for everyone because you can put people in the corners. The court’s open and it really allows the guards to have so much more freedom.”

Video: #CavsSanLorenzo Postgame: Darius Garland

In the area of annual salaries, Thompson is making $18.5 million this year, while Henson is making roughly half of that amount at $9.7 million for the 2019-20 campaign. Thompson has spent all eight of his previous seasons with the Cavaliers, while Henson’s entire career had been with the Milwaukee Bucks before he was dealt to Cleveland.

Video: #CavsSanLorenzo Postgame: Darius Garland

However, Beilein and Thompson have no past history together, which means that any edge with respect to his past contributions to the Cavaliers may not matter. That being said, Henson has been described as a player who was likely not part of the team’s future.

“That’s the traditional way it is, whether it was back at Michigan, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway back there or Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton, it was just sort of this open court that really allowed them to have a lot of freedom.”

Given the status of the Cavs’ rebuilding process, both players might ultimately be traded away by February if the team gets good offers for them. That would end any discussion, but for now the battle continues.

LNJ: Were in a different position this season. Weve got some young guys that we want to bring along. We have Colin Sexton, Darius Garland – weve just drafted Kevin Porter Jr, Dylan Windler so were going to be a young group so I think helping them to improve will be key to what we do this year. Obviously we still have myself, Tristan [Thompson] and Kevin [Love] so were going to be competitive and the lofty goal would be to make the Playoffs but were going to give it a real big push and were not ruling anything out right now.


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