The top overall pick in the draft is shooting 22 percent. His 10 turnovers equal his 10 baskets. He has shot as many 3-pointers (17) as Alonzo Gee in less than half as many minutes. He has only made three of them. The first 16 games have been a disaster for Anthony Bennett. Entering Saturday’s home game against the Chicago Bulls, Bennett played fewer minutes and scored fewer points than undrafted rookie Matthew Dellavedova and equaled C.J. Miles’ turnover total in 80 less minutes. Nothing the Cavs have tried thus far with Bennett has worked. So here’s an idea… Start him. Crazier yet, start him at small forward, a position where he has hardly ever practiced in his life. At this point, what do the Cavs have to lose? Another game? Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said he has considered the idea. The day after they drafted Bennett, the Cavs made it clear he was strictly a power forward this season. Privately, a number of people within the organization envisioned his long-term future in the NBA as a small forward, but Bennett was a raw 19-year-old who had only ever played power forward and center. The Cavs wanted to keep things as simple as possible during his transition to the NBA, so they committed to keeping him at power forward for this season. But no one was expecting this. No one thought the Cavs would begin the season 4-12, and certainly no one saw Bennett playing so timidly and terribly. He was an offensive monster last season in the Mountain West Conference. He was agile and explosive getting to the basket, flashed a nifty mid-range game and smooth turnaround moves. He has demonstrated none of that thus far in the NBA. “I don’t know who this kid is,” said one scout who followed Bennett last season. The scout disagreed with the Cavs’ decision to draft him and didn’t believe Bennett was the best player in the draft, but saw enough of him at UNLV to like him. “This isn’t the player I saw last year. Not even close.” The Cavs feel the same way. There is no easy solution here. Bennett’s struggles are a microcosm of the Cavs’ season, where it seems everyone has forgotten how to pass, dribble and shoot.
Should the Cavaliers start Anthony Bennett to help him work through his early struggles?
Akron Beacon Journal | Dec 1