CANTON: Cavaliers coach Byron Scott sat in his chair for a majority of Tuesday night’s NBA preseason game at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.
Scott rarely paced the sidelines or showed emotion, but mentally he was taking notes.
One observation he made was the Cavaliers’ stagnant offense as they played the Milwaukee Bucks.
A lack of ball movement and shotmaking did in the Cavaliers, as the Bucks earned a 97-80 victory before a crowd of 3,942.
“I thought it was good to play against a real NBA team,” Scott said. “No disrespect to the team from Italy [Montepaschi Siena whom host Cleveland beat 91-85 Monday night], but I thought Milwaukee showed us a lot tonight. From a coach’s standpoint, I thought we took a step back as a team tonight because of the way we played. I thought we played selfish basketball. We didn’t move the ball, and I thought they played hard and shared the ball. That is the way we have to play.”
The Bucks had six players score in double figures. Guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis led the charge with 15 points apiece on a combined 11-of-26 shooting from the field. Jennings also had seven assists and Ellis had five assists.
C.J. Miles paced the Cavaliers with 18 points and Kyrie Irving added 16 points. The guards combined to make 11-of-24 field-goal attempts.
“C.J. was one of the bright spots,” Scott said. “He played pretty good the first game and I think he played much better tonight. He made some mistakes as well, but to be realistic, guys are going to make mistakes. It is how you make mistakes that is concerning me.”
Cavaliers rookie guard Dion Waiters logged minutes as a reserve and scored just two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field
“He struggled offensively big time,” Scott said. “I took him out [of the game] in the second half because I drew up a play, diagramed a play, and he messed it up. So to me that was a lack of focus. I figured he didn’t need to play the rest of the game.”
Scott did say Waiters’ defense was good, but he needs to grasp the offense better.
Irving, the NBA Rookie of the Year last year, said he tells Waiters to “trust his instincts” as he gets acclimated to professional basketball.
“It will be a day-to-day process for us,” Irving said. “We definitely have to find a continuity in our offense. At times we become stagnant.”
The Bucks led 25-23 following one quarter and were ahead 52-41 at halftime and 78-65 after three quarters.
“They came out with an energy that we just couldn’t match tonight, unfortunately,” Irving said. “It was a hard-fought game for us. We tried to get it going.”
The Bucks’ other four top scorers were Mike Dunleavy (12 points), Tobias Harris (11 points), Larry Sanders (10 points) and Marquis Daniels (10 points).
Miles and Cavaliers teammates Tristan Thompson and Alonzo Gee dazzled the crowd with powerful dunks, but the Bucks presented a much more cohesive team effort.
Scott said he looks forward to getting back into the gym with his team as they try to set a rotation prior to the regular season.
“I am trying a lot of things and seeing what parts fit with what, and hopefully within the next week we will find some of those things out,” Scott said.
Waiters, Jon Leuer (eight points), Jeremy Pargo, Kelenna Azubuike, Tyler Zeller, Daniel Gibson and Justin Holiday all logged double-figure minutes as reserves.
Beno Udrih of the Bucks left the game in the second quarter after hitting his head on Sanders’ knee. … Cavaliers special assistant Zydrunas Ilgauskas was in attendance, which prompted fans to shout “Zzzzz” several times as he walked around. Ilgauskas and current Cavalier players Gibson and Anderson Varejao were on the LeBron James-led NBA Finals team in 2007.
Michael Beaven can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Cavs blog at http://www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.