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BY SAM AMICO
Random dribbles on the Cavaliers’ summer-league team in Las Vegas.
1. Sir’Dominic Pointer has the best name in Vegas, and when it comes to the Cavs’ summer entry, perhaps the best game. Pointer was a second-round pick out of St. John’s and is a nice-enough offensive player who can really defend.
2. Even Cavs general manager David Griffin said Pointer could make a quick impact as a defender of NBA small forwards and shooting guards. Since it seems like the NBA keeps getting smaller, and that the best offensive players are often men who play the “swing” spots — well, it’s critical to get someone who can guard those players.
3. Pointer went 5-of-6 shooting for 13 points in the Cavs’ 94-87 win over the Bucks on Monday. Scouts’ biggest concern was his wildly inconsistent offensive ways in college. He averaged 13.7 points his senior season. His junior year, he averaged just 5.9. So, yeah, he’d darn well better be able to defend and do the little things.
4. Also, Pointer shot just eight percent on 3-pointers his senior year. Eight percent. That’s almost unheard of for a 6-foot-6 swingman. But he only attempted 25 (making two), so at least he knows his limitations. Plus, his struggles from the perimeter actually make his 52 percent overall shooting that much more impressive.
5. Pointer also led the Red Storm in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and steals (1.9 spg), and was second on the team in assists (3.0 apg) and blocks (2.4 bpg). Yes, he’s 6-6 and blocked more than two shots a game. In fact, he’s third in St. John’s history in that category — swatting 172 shot for his four-year career.
6. So it’s safe to say Pointer has an unconventional game. But hey, it’s worked so far.
7. Here is the scouting report on Pointer from the NBA’s official draft guide: “Has great versatility at both ends of the floor. An exceptional defender who can guard multiple positions. Outstanding on-ball and help defender. A slasher on offense with good ball-handling and passing skills. Motor is always running. NBA-caliber athlete.”
8. So why did Pointer drop all the way to the No. 53 overall pick? That’s right. Because he has yet to prove he can shoot straight.
9. In conclusion, Pointer is a long shot to make the cut. The Cavs still have some moves to make before training camp, the goal being to bring in more veterans who know what to do when it means the most. I could see Pointer spending lots of time with the Cavs’ D-League affiliate in Canton, though. But that’s just a wild guess.
10. So what about the rest of the summer team? Quite honestly, I haven’t seen much that makes me think the Cavs have found a diamond in the rough. Instead, it’s more like a bunch of guys who are probably auditioning for other teams.
11. Shooting guard Joe Harris is the only guy who actually played for the Cavs last season and is also on the summer team. Harris has really struggled, shooting just 8-of-32 through three games. On the bright side, he went 4-of-8 on threes Monday. It’s hard to tell if he’ll be back — although I strongly suspect he will. The Cavs like him.
12. Meanwhile, I haven’t seen enough good stuff from the Cavs’ other second-round pick playing in Vegas, forward/center Rakeem Christmas. At least not enough to make me think he has a real chance. Christmas came out of Syracuse, and has carried over his penchant for getting to the free-throw line. He attempted just one field goal Monday, but went 8-of-12 on foul shots.
13. Still, Christmas hasn’t separated himself enough to make me think, “The Cavs need to take a long look at this guy.” Maybe if this were 2013. But this is a team looking to win a title right now.
14. Point guard Keifer Sykes and shooting guard Tyler Haws have also impressed me when they get a chance — but again, not enough to think they’ll get much more than an invite to training camp.