Anthony Bennett buried a well-defended turnaround jumper that rang up memories of Larry Bird. Andrew Wiggins spun his way past two defenders for a high-flying slam with two hands.
Yes, the former No. 1 overall draft picks are feeling fine, thank you very much.
Oh, and Matthew Dellavedova? The second-year point guard was never drafted at all, and isn’t really known for anything fancy — but he may have been better than anyone anyway.
In the end, the Cavaliers’ summer team cruised to an 86-77 win over Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas on Monday. The Cavs improved to 3-0 in Las Vegas and begin tournament play on Wednesday.
Dellavedova led the way, finishing with a team-high 19 points to go with his usual dose of Anderson Varejao-like unmatched hustle.
Bennett added 14 points and Wiggins scored 10 on 4-of-8 shooting. The Cavs led by as many as 21 points and were a plus-17 when Bennett was on the floor. In other words, when Bennett played, the Cavs outscored the Sixers by 17 points and basically had no reason to worry.
That says a lot about how last year’s first overall selection has improved his confidence, improved his physique, and from the looks of things in summer league, improved his shot. Is he a great shooter? Probably not. Is he an efficient scorer? It might be time to start thinking the answer is yes.
Also, Wiggins swished a perimeter shot that had former NBA forward and current NBA TV analyst Grant Hill suggesting Wiggins may get up "too high" before releasing the ball. Sounds like a good problem to have.
Meanwhile, Noel sported a high-rise hair style that came straight out of the Kid ‘n Play days of the early 1990s — and the former first-round pick looks like quite the keeper for the modern-day Sixers. He missed all of his rookie season, but the ultra-athletic center/forward appears perfectly healthy today. He finished 6-of-12 shooting for 12 points, compiling six rebounds and four blocks as well.
Former University of Cincinnati shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick, an undrafted rookie, received limited time after scoring 20 points in the Sixers’ Vegas opener. Kilpatrick finished with five points vs. the Cavs.
Cavs second-round pick Joe Harris started alongside Dellavedova in the backcourt and scored six points.
CAVS 86, SIXERS 77
SIXERS (1-1): Jordan McRae 5-12 8-9 18; Brandon Davies 2-6 6-7 10; Nerlens Noel 6-10 0-1 12; K.J. McDaniels 2-4 2-2 7; Casper Ware 2-9 2-2 7; Drew Gordon 2-4 0-0 4; Adonis Thomas 1-2 0-0 3; Scott Wilbekin 0-3 1-2 1; Jerami Grant 2-6 4-4 8; Sean Kilpatrick 2-5 0-0 5; Jamelle Hagins 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 25-64 23-27 77.
CAVS (3-0): Andrew Wiggins 4-8 2-3 10; Anthony Bennett 5-12 4-6 14; Jack Cooley 4-7 1-1 9; Joe Harris 2-4 1-2 6; Matthew Dellavedova 6-9 6-7 13; Dwight Powell 0-0 0-0 0; Will Cherry 2-7 2-4 6; Carrick Felix 2-2 0-0 6; Alex Kirk 0-1 2-2 2; Shane Edwards 1-3 12-13 14; Steven Gray 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-55 30-38 86.