It has been only three games, and a dozen shots. But Cavaliers rookie Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, has yet to make his first NBA field goal. "I just feel like there’s a lid on the basket,'' he said quietly after the Cavs' 89-74 loss to the Pacers on Saturday night at Bank Life Fieldhouse. "Three games and no shots went in, but I just have to keep working.'' Late in the third quarter, he had what looked to be his best chance, when he stole the ball from Luis Scola and raced toward the other where Indiana's C.J. Watson was the only thing between him and a wide open layup -- good -- or dunk -- even better. But he missed it. Asked what he was thinking the closer he got to the open goal, Bennett said, ''If it happens, [if] the opportunity comes, I’m going to try to dunk it. Other than that, I just have to work on my team, get rebounds, defend.'' Bennett has been trying to learn coach Mike Brown's defense and he has been averaging four rebounds a game, including six on Saturday. But those things are not what made him the No. 1 pick in the draft. His offensive skills were his calling card -- and he displayed them during the preseason. But after badly missing on a weak 3-point attempt about two minutes after missing the dunk on Saturday, he is now 0 for 12 overall and 0 for 6 on 3-pointers during the regular season. Much like Dion Waiters as a rookie last season, he is struggling learning when to drive and when to shoot and too often relies on the jumper. When he was asked if he'd ever been through a stretch like this before, Bennett shook his head and said, "Nooooo,'' drawing out the word for a surprisingly long time. "Never. I also went through surgery and stuff. This is all kind of new to me. Basically this is my 11th game coming back off of surgery, haven’t played the whole summer. It’ll come to me.'' Bennett had shoulder surgery last spring after his lone season at UNLV, which set back his conditioning. He also is dealing with asthma and sleep apnea, as well as the adjustment to the rigors of his first NBA season. He is getting lots of support from friends, family, coaches and teammates.
Cavaliers rookie Anthony Bennett hasn't scored his first basket yet
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Nov 4