Andrew Bynum was a limited participant on the Cavs' first day of training camp. He has not been cleared for full contact, but he spent the portion of practice open to the media working on post moves with coach Vitaly Potapenko.
INDEPENDENCE: When the Cavaliers assembled in Las Vegas for their first summer league practice three months ago, Mike Brown lined the players up along the baseline for three hours and taught defensive principles.
As the players gathered Tuesday morning for the opening of training camp, Brown went easy on them.
“It wasn’t quite three hours,” Brown joked, “but they probably could’ve watched a nice feature-length movie.”
Brown and his defensive ways officially returned to the Cavaliers’ organization Tuesday with the start of training camp. Nearly the entire morning session was devoted to defense and more of the same was expected for the night session, although Brown said they would install a couple of offensive sets during the second practice, “so we can have something to defend.”
After finishing as the worst defensive team in the league last season, everyone inside Cleveland Clinic Courts understands why Brown is devoting so much time to defense. The trash cans from the Camp Scott days were not visible when reporters were allowed into the gym.
The players had a fitness test they had to pass in order to practice, but the grueling, physical ways of Byron Scott’s training camps have been replaced by Brown’s cerebral defensive lessons.
“They probably don’t remember half the stuff we threw at them because we threw a lot at them,” said Brown, who wants his players to embrace being uncomfortable. That’s why he made them stand for much of the instructional time, so they got used to the sore legs and aching feet. “It’s like when you’re in the classroom and you’re hearing a lecture. Whether you’re tired or not you eventually fall asleep because you’re sitting down. Tough part about it is they had no chairs, so they had to somehow, someway try to fight to stay upright.”
Earl Clark was in Los Angeles for Brown’s training camp last year with the Lakers. That was obviously a much more veteran team than this one, but Clark still saw similarities between the two.
“I think he’s more detailed now, more strict,” Clark said. “He’s not letting anything go by without getting done right.”