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No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett starts season 0-15 shooting through four games

Nov 5, 2013, 6:04 PM EDT

Anthony Bennett, Jonas Jerebko AP

It’s way, way too early to freak out about this or to use the “B” word. (“Bust.” As your mom used to say get your mind out of the gutter.)

That said…

Cleveland’s No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett is off to a historically rough start of his rookie season. He is 0-of-15 from the field and that includes 0-of-8 from three. He’s missed five shots inside eight feet, a couple shots that were long twos and the eight threes. He has knocked down a couple free throws, so he has points.

It’s the slowest start for a No. 1 overall pick since 1966. Think about that. All the bust No. 1 picks you can name — Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi and on down the list — got off to faster starts than Bennett.

Which is probably why Bennett tweeted this (but has since removed it):

Going ghost for a bit, think it’s be best for me at this point .. If you don’t have my number DM me

I don’ think we can emphasize enough it is way, way, way too early to hit any panic buttons here. Remember he is a 20-year-old kid coming off shoulder surgery trying to find his way in a new and tougher league.

Talk to me around the All-Star break and we’ll see how he is developing, but remember that the Cavaliers picked him for the player they think he will be in three years, not 50 minutes into his NBA career. It’s a process.

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To me the spotlight would fall more on the Cavaliers here anyway — they made the gamble pick that surprised everybody. He was considered a guy with a big upside, someone long and athletic, but a bit of a project.

Four games into the season is way, way, way too early to make the call on Bennett. Let him find his groove and we’ll see what kind of player he is in 2016.

  1. nghtrder169 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Only time will tell on all their weird lottery picks not named Irving… Thompson, Waiters and now Bennett are 3 guys that are – “we are smarter than the room” type picks… Especially when you consider where they were drafted. But let’s wait – all 3 could be part of a great rotation out there

    • feb16oh - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Totally understand the jury still being out on Waiters and Bennett, but I’m a Cavs fan and Tristan Thompson is probably my favorite player on the team now. The dude works like crazy between each season and has improved SO much season to season. He’s a good guy with amazing work ethic.

      Waiters I honestly feel the same way about… Dion’s defense has already done a 180 since last year (it’s been REALLY good so far this season: he owned Joe Johnson in game 1), and the kid has crazy ability to get to the basket – we’re just still waiting for him to realize that, as his shot selection admittedly still needs work.

      But Bennett will be fine. It’s not like he didn’t make a basket in the preseason. Watch the highlights of the Orlando game and you see how nice his touch can be and how crazy athletic he is. He just doesn’t have the killer personality yet. He’s a sweetheart of a kid and I think he is INSANELY nervous still. But his talent is bananas through the roof.

      I think people don’t realize how obsessed the Cavs front office is with character, and Tristan is a perfect example of that. The talent can be raw as long as they have a level-headed, hard-working kid they can work with; that will buy-in to the team. Considering that Bennett has even more raw talent and upside than Tristan did his first year, I can’t wait to see him 2 seasons from now.

      • nghtrder169 - Nov 6, 2013 at 1:19 AM

        Really good points… I see Waiters as a great 6-man, I think the starting SG would best be served being a great shooter that can seriously space the floor… Tristan I’ll agree with you on, to switch shooting hands mid-summer is pretty amazing — Cavs deff have a bright future… Prob best young team in the east (Pacers aren’t young anymore) – The GoldenState of the East???

  2. ljl2 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    He has the highest defensive rebound rate and defensive efficiency on the team (81 points per 100 possessions)

  3. spyder9669 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:51 PM


  4. asimonetti88 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    The slowest start since 1966? So Cazzie Russell? He turned out alright, so Cavs fans shouldn’t get too worried.

  5. johngalt1783 - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Why is someone his size chucking up three’s and not going inside? Who does he think he is the next Andrea Bargnani?

  6. legend30 - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    What have I been saying since he got drafted… Derrick Williams 2.0

  7. JHathwell - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Still got a ways to go to catch Jacque Vaughn.

  8. redskinfansince82 - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    He needs to go back to the fundamentals of shooting. His right elbow is too crooked and Footwork is off a bit. Also shoulder injuries mess with your natural shot. The kid will be ok.

  9. sfsugator - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I thought he was a reach at number 1

  10. football58 - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    He looks fat and out of shape! He will be a bust!

  11. stephenolszewski - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    I’m giving him a fair shot he didn’t get to do any working out or play any sort of basketball all summer and didn’t play summer league and played only pre season ball. Right now I think it’s a combination of him getting his confidence back and him thinking too much. Instead of him putting his head down and going to the basket or posting up he’s just chucking. Also who did you want the Cavs to draft #1 overall a even bigger question mark in Nerlens Noel or Alex Len?

  12. 407magic - Nov 6, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    The magic and sixers are happy cavs took this guy. There’s no excuse to start 0-15 shooting. He’s a big right? Get him on the post. Seems to me he doesn’t have the desire to work. He’s out of shape and only 20 yrs old lol, that says it all.
    Glad I’m a magic fan. V.O. Shows that he wants to learn and become a better all around player and teammate. Thank you cavs for terrible scouting.

  13. valeb2012 - Nov 6, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    I’m at a loss for words for supporters of Bennett and Cavs management. I can’t recall in the past 30 years anyone drafted #1 who didn’t have an immediate impact. Honestly, Pervis Ellison was injured but was contributing defensively immediately. Olowokandi once he got to the Assoc was all kinds of awful but he was blocking some shots and being 7′ about it. I don’t remember a #1 pick that was a “project” and who management didn’t expect some contribution in the first year. I’m not a Bennett or Cavs hater — I don’t really know Bennett’s game, and I have a soft spot for the Cavs going back to Price and Dougherty. But I’m kinda puzzled. It’s the same with Nerlens Noel. Teams seem to be taking huge gambles with some of these bigs.

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