CLEVELAND – Random dribbles from the Cavaliers’ open scrimmage Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.
1. Mike Dunleavy is 36 years old and just got here. But he is already the Cavs’ best perimeter shooter. I saw Dunleavy make 21 straight jumpers last week after practice, and those were just the ones I counted. He finished 5-of-6 shooting in the scrimmage.
2. One time, he was about five feet behind the 3-point line. Swish. “You just gotta let it fly,” he said, describing his mindset on open shots.
3. Dunleavy could flourish this season, and he gave some good reasons why. “We have quite a few guys here who draw a lot of attention,” he said. “Plus, Tristan (Thompson) gets all those offensive rebounds. So I’ll probably get a lot of good looks. On this team, you have to be ready to shoot.”
4. Dunleavy is 6-foot-9 and will be especially important during J.R. Smith’s contract dispute. Dunleavy has better size and is a more consistent shooter. The question with Dunleavy is if he can stay healthy. He missed all but 31 games last year following back surgery.
5. In case you missed it, here is what Dunleavy told Amico Hoops about coming to Cleveland.
6. Smith and the Cavs are no closer to reaching an agreement. On the bright side, there is still no animosity. But all of the above can change overnight, as negotiations are ongoing.
7. LeBron James did not play in the scrimmage. Coach Tyronn Lue said the Cavs “wanted to give him a little bit of rest.” James may not play in Tuesday’s preseason opener at The Q, either.
8. Lue said to not expect too much LeBron in the preseason. “I’m not sure how many games he will play, but it will be light,” Lue said.
9. The Cavs conclude the preseason Oct. 18 at Ohio State (vs. Washington). James will “probably” play in that one, a team source said. James will likely want to take the court in front of Buckeyes fans for at least a few minutes. After all, LeBron is one himself.
10. Following the scrimmage, Kyrie Irving spoke to reporters for the first time since media day. Irving has been in high spirits both on and off the floor. His biggest highlight came on a pass off the backboard to Iman Shumpert. The play was the result of a fast break. Shumpert threw down a vicious dunk and the fans immediately roared.
11. Irving worked out with Shumpert in Florida over the summer. “I’m glad to see him back out there at full strength,” Irving said.
12. Kyrie on Dunleavy: “Dead-eye shooter. He’s gonna add another dimension to our team.”
13. Markel Brown and DeAndre Liggins both looked pretty good. Only one of them is likely to make the final roster. Dahntay Jones is still hanging around, too. The Cavs have a glut of wing types in camp vying for one, maybe two, openings.
14. Rookie point guard Kay Felder did some nice things, but it would be a surprise if he’s ready for regular minutes. The Cavs are looking into adding another veteran to play behind Irving. They like Felder and think he is the future backup. But they need help at that spot today. Brown may be one option if he shows he can take care of the ball under pressure.