If you're attending tomorrow night's intrasquad scrimmage at the JAR (7 p.m., doors open at 6) don't expect too much out of the Cavaliers.
Byron Scott accurately called this team a work in progress. Scott is instilling a totally new offense and new concepts on defense, and the Cavs have only had about 12 hours of practice before the scrimmage. It could be ugly at times.
But Scott swears the Cavs will play hard every night, something he proved again today at practice. While reviewing the tape from Wednesday's practice, Scott thought the players were too slow getting into their transition defense. Yes, they were exhausted from running hard for the first two days of practice, but Scott wasn't going to let them use that as an excuse.
So he showed the players the practice film before today and they responded with what he called "the best practice" he's seen so far.
As for the concepts, Scott is installing a Princeton offense that the veterans have quickly grasped (Antawn Jamison played in a similar version in Washington), but the second and third teams are struggling to learn it. Defensively, Mike Brown wanted to shrink the floor. Scott wants to cut it in half.
If the ball is on the right side of the floor and it's 3 on 3, he believes there's no reason to allow an opponent to swing the ball back left. Keep it on the right side of the floor. With six bodies over there,that's an awful lot of congestion. He also uses three defenses against the pick-and-roll. Without getting specific, he said the players learned the first defense fairly quickly. That leaves two more.
LeBron James won't be on the floor tomorrow night and much of the buzz from past seasons will likely be missing, too. But Scott is preaching patience with fans and believes that eventually, it will all pay off.