Sports Out West

No. 1 picks excel early for Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo Credit: Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Las Vegas – The last two overall No. 1 picks, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, helped the Cleveland Cavaliers jump out to an early lead. Unfortunately, they were not able to keep up their early success throughout the rest of he game as the Cavs defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 82-70. Wiggins opened the game with a team-high seven points in the first, to go along with Bennett’s five points.

They combined for 12 of Cleveland’s 25 first quarter points, but only accounted for an additional 14 points throughout the next three quarters. Bennett found himself only contributing two points in both the second and third quarters before scoring five points, three on free throws, quickly late in the fourth. Wiggins had a solid five-point third quarter, but was kept to just one point in the second and was held scoreless in the fourth.

Bennett also had a dominating first quarter defensively with seven defensive rebounds to go along with his single offensive board. Much like his scoring though, this trend died off quickly with him only recording another six total rebounds, four of which came in the third quarter alone. Bennett was the only player on either team to record a double-double.

A group of relative unknowns professionally carried the Cavaliers throughout the game with Jack Cooley contributing 15 points to go along with a monster 21-point performance by Will Cherry. Cherry also contributed seven total rebounds to be the next highest rebounder for the team.

Overall, it was an impressive performance by the Cavs over a Spurs team that was almost completely unrecognizable except for first round pick and former UCLA standout Kyle Anderson. Unfortunately for Anderson, he was never really able to get anything going as he only put down two points on seven shots and six rebounds.

This performance put both Bennett and Wiggins in a good position to build some momentum and chemistry going into the season after two great scoring days for both. In their first game in this Summer League, they combined for 31 of Cleveland’s 70 points as Bennett tallied 15 points and Wiggins put down 18.

While the Summer League is nowhere near the competition level that they will find themselves in come the regular season, these two put themselves in a great position to prove that they were worth the No. 1 overall picks. They will also get the opportunity to possibly play alongside two fellow No. 1 picks in the likes of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, and could begin to put together a strong season.

Photo Credit: Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

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Matthew Fitzgerald

Matthew Fitzgerald is a Las Vegas resident who is an expert on all things sports. Being from Las Vegas has given him the opportunity to develop a love for an assortment of teams that include the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as his hometown UNLV Rebels.