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Anthony Bennett took a really long time to score double-digits

Jan 29, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT

Anthony Bennett, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Anthony Bennett had 15 points and eight rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. It was a good game for Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

It was also Bennett’s first double-digit scoring game of his career.

As Kurt wrote, it’s too soon to write off Bennett completely. But he has soooo much ground to make up relative to other No. 1 picks, even the established busts.

Just how much behind the curve is Bennett?

Most No. 1 picks – really, closer to two-thirds than half – scored double-digits in their first game. It took Bennett until his 33rd game – three times as long as any other top pick on record.


(Click chart to enlarge)

If you look closely, a few top picks don’t appear in the chart. The explanations:

  • 1954: Frank Selvy scored 1,348 points in 71 games his rookie year, making it extremely unlikely he took longer than Bennett. But Selvy began his first season with the Baltimore Bullets, who disbanded after 14 games. Their statistics are unavailable through Basketball-Reference or
  • 1951: Gene Melchiorre was the No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Bullets, but before he ever played in the NBA, the league banned him for life due to a point-shaving scandal while he was at Bradley.
  • 1947: Clifton McNeeley, the top selection of the Pittsburgh Ironmen, opted to coach high school basketball rather than play professionally.
  1. timb12 - Jan 29, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    I don’t know if I feel worse for him or the Cavs. This was just a really bad choice. They’re going to make Morey eat his words about White haha.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      Y’all need to pay better attention. His defense and rebounding are already decent and will be solid going forward. Offensively he has lots of talent and is starting to show it. He will be fine. Perhaps not great, but not a bust.

      • timb12 - Jan 29, 2014 at 7:04 PM

        Bust in terms of what though? He’ll be a solid starting player maybe. I see his ceiling closer to being Kwame Brown, he’s solid and valuable but with a first round pick and compared to what else was available in the draft I don’t think you could get away with saying he was a good pick.

  2. DonKellyBaby - Jan 29, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Just atrocious …

    • shanelsweet - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      I watched most of that video, and my immediate impression was that he doesn’t seem to have any problem getting open, clean looks at the basket. It’s not like he’s getting his shot smacked back in his face because he’s too small or slow or something. If that’s the case, then he might just need more time to settle down. We know he can shoot based on what he did just last year in college. If he’s working hard in practice and staying in shape, then the Cavs fans should be patient and supportive of him.

      • slowclyde86 - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        I hear what you are saying, but it looks to me as he is getting open because teams are outright begging him to shoot.

        I put this horrendous pick on Gilbert even more than grant. They picked for need not talent with an ill-advised owners push for a coveted 8th playoff seed and early exit this year (why? Just dumb). Now that is even a pipe dream in the worst conference this league has ever seen. What a train wreck.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Bennett looks huge. Like, Eddy Curry fat.

  3. cmehustle - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Well for Morey’s pov at least Bennet plays. Idk what the deal is with this kid, is he out of shape? He was a beast in college and just looked like he had some potential. Now he looks, well like a second rounder? A undrafted free agent?

  4. kb2408 - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    I’m not a Cavs fan, or for that matter, even a Bennett fan, but I really hope this kid makes it. The pressure on him has to be enormous! If he turns it around, and becomes what people thought he would be coming out of college, it will make for a great story.

  5. stephenolszewski - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    This is flawed in my opinion because I blame Mike Brown. Yes Bennett came in out of shape so he should take some blame, but he got back to his college weight within a couple months or less. Mike Brown has only given Bennett 5-8 minutes on average to play. So Bennett was forced to rush shots thinking he was going to be out in a minute or two you could just see it. His confidence was gone too because he wasn’t getting playing time. Instead of playing and progressing your #1 pick you trot Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee (at times) both are garbage, after last night Mike Brown has no excuse to not play Bennett. Supposedly he’s the first one in the building and last one out too. Mike Brown for whatever reason has always had issues playing rookies, i don’t know if it’s a tough guy act or what but he did it with Shannon Brown, And JJ Hickson. Not that they were future stars in the making but all were pieces that could’ve helped.

  6. obmig - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    He looks like he can’t move and he also shoots from deep too often. Both can be corrected with hard work. Too soon to write him off.

  7. 00maltliquor - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    I bet that record stands for over 50 years.

  8. pl4tinum514 - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Anderson gets hurt and wham, he gets 30 minutes and look at that, he looks like a different player out there. Hitting shots with confidence, step back jumpers, some nice feints/fakes, a couple of layups and took it to the hoop strong a couple of times. Almost posterized Stiemsma on one attempt. Hit most of his shots from the line, and has all season. Defense looks pretty good for a 20 year old too, guys can’t go around him easily because he is pretty wide. Let’s hope there are more games like this to come.

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