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Cavs 96, Pistons 84: final thoughts (part 2)

By Jason Lloyd Published: October 18, 2013
Brown, Mike & Kyrie with back turned
Maybe this is where Mike Brown is telling Kyrie Irving that Jarrett Jack tied his sneakers together, not Anthony Bennett. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CLEVELAND: More final thoughts (I mean it this time) following a Cavs win...

* Mike Brown sort of slipped prior to the game when he revealed Anthony Bennett has sleep apnea. The Cavs diagnosed him with it over the summer and gave him a CPAP mask to wear at night. “It’s just something I have to get adjusted to because I never knew I had it before,” Bennett said. “I just found out.”

* Bennett took a sleep test for the team after he was drafted and that’s how it was diagnosed. Bennett was trying to keep it a secret. “This is something I have to take day by day,” he said. “I just started using it, so it’s not going to work right away. I just have to get a routine and keep using it.”

* Bennett already was diagnosed with asthma and Brown revealed he, too, has sleep apnea. ""We have a couple guys who may have it," Brown said. "I think it’s a common thing. It’s not that big of a deal."

* The Cavs have been hit hard with injuries during training camp, but the good news is none of them seem overly serious. Jarrett Jack said the tendonitis in his knee is already feeling better and if this were the regular season, “you wouldn’t even know about it.” That, of course, means he could play through it. But at this point, why bother? Jack doesn’t have any real history of knee problems, so no one is overly concerned.

* Dion Waiters said he landed on his hip during Tuesday’s preseason game. I noticed Waiters rubbing his hip as he ran up and down the floor, but didn’t think much of it because Waiters … to be polite … has the reputation as being a bit of a hypochondriac with the injuries. (He went for an MRI after a game last year -- I think in Phoenix -- and even before the exam, former trainer Max Benton was standing behind him and mouthed to me “he’s fine.” This hip issue shouldn’t keep Waiters out long. 

* C.J. Miles was complaining about pain in his leg prior to Thursday’s game, then was a late scratch. The leg has been bothering him for a couple days, then he got kicked in the sore spot during Tuesday’s game. He shouldn’t be out long.

* Jermaine Taylor took full advantage of Miles’ absence Thursday, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter and finishing with 15 points and three assists for the game. Brown likes Taylor, but I just don’t see where he fits on this team.

* The Cavs have two open roster spots, but they need a third point guard (Matthew Dellavedova) and another big (my guess is Henry Sims). Kyrie Irving’s injury history makes carrying a third point guard almost a necessity, particularly since Brown is committed to keeping Waiters strictly a shooting guard this season. Taylor has played some point in the past, but that’s not his spot. He’s a wing, but the Cavs are already so deep there that Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix are going to struggle ever seeing the floor.

* Taylor has shown enough this preseason to get another chance elsewhere, but it likely won’t be here. He’d have to beat out “Delly” for a roster spot and I just don’t see that happening.

* Brown was quick to point out Sims had 10 rebounds in 20 minutes. Brown has said throughout camp that Sims’ production doesn’t always show up in box scores because his role is to defend the pick-and-roll, box out and play tough defense inside. If everyone is healthy – or even if two-thirds of the trio of Andrew Bynum, Anderson Varejao and Tyler Zeller are healthy – Sims’ minutes will probably come in Canton.

* Speaking of Varejao, this was the first night I thought Andy looked like Andy. Brown gave him a couple of days off to rest his legs as he continues to work his way back following a blood clot, and the time off was noticeable. He had 10 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes and was his old, active self again.

* Teams are already starting to cut players, but the Cavs still need practice bodies. That’s why guys like DeSagana Diop, Michael Lee and Elliot Williams (who have little to no chance of making the final roster) are still in camp.

* A new rule went into effect last year that allows teams to protect their final three camp cuts from the D-League draft. Essentially, the final three cuts off a team’s training camp roster can be placed directly on that team’s Development League roster (after the player clears waivers, of course).

* The Cavs used this strategy last year when they claimed former Cleveland State product D’Aundray Brown late in camp even though they had no intention of keeping him on the final roster. They just liked him enough to put him on the Canton Charge roster. Similarly, the Portland Trail Blazers claimed Justin Holiday off waivers last year after the Cavs released him so they could put him on their D-League affiliate. The whole process adds a little strategy to camp cuts.

* CORRECTION: I erroneously wrote last night the Cavs could protect the D-League rights of their final three cuts, but that's only true if the player has never played in the D-League. Since Taylor and Sims both played there last year, the Cavs can't protect either for the Charge roster. If Sims is released, he is still property of the Erie BayHawks. Taylor would return to the Maine Red Claws. Kenny Kadji, however, is eligible to be protected since he is an NBA rookie. If Kadji is one of the final three cuts, the Cavs could keep him out of the D-League draft and automatically place him on the Charge roster after he cleared NBA waivers. He would still be an NBA free agent, however, and the Cavs would not own his rights unless they added him to the 15-man roster.

* Finally, Jack pulled a pretty good prank on Kyrie Irving prior to Thursday’s game, but it’s a secret, so you can’t tell anyone. See, Irving hid Bennett’s sneakers during the morning shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts. So when Irving arrived at the Q for Thursday’s game and tried to put his game shoes on, the laces were tied together in knots. Irving immediately thought it was Bennett, who was nowhere to be found … but it was actually Jack. Bennett and Jack each has a locker next to Irving. Jack was in the middle of doing an interview with the Associated Press’ Tom Withers while Irving was filling me in on the prank war. “It’s OK. His is coming,” Irving told me. Then after Kyrie left the locker room, Jack cracked up and let us in on the secret. He was the culprit. “(Bennett) won’t have any idea why Kyrie is coming for him,” Jack said. Remember, it’s a secret. Don’t tell anyone.

* Jack has some ninja spy qualities to him. While filming a bit with a Fox Sports Ohio television crew, Jack broke into assistant coach Jamahl Mosley's office and ... rearranged some things. He scattered papers around, opened Mosley's giant bottle of water and quickly left before he was caught. Mosley had no idea who was messing with him until he watched the segment air on the scoreboard during a timeout the other night.

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